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Professor Walid Aref

Professor Walid Aref

Transformative environment

"After working in an industrial research lab for six years I was very eager to join academia. No matter what, there is no substitute for a truly unrestricted and free research environment. I had lots of ideas that I wanted to pursue that were not possible to explore due to the relatively short-term fuse of research agendas in industry. This is when I joined Purdue CS. The truly scholarly environment at Purdue, the very collaborative, friendly, and bright faculty members, and the vibrant PhD students at Purdue CS met with my thirst to explore untapped ideas at the time. At Purdue, together we developed generalized search trees that later have become widely used nowadays and adopted by database companies. We developed one of the earliest and visionary “Pervasive Location-Aware Computing Environments”; the PLACE project that envisioned the ubiquitous use of GPS devices, and location-based services back in 2000 – ahead of everyone else. We developed Casper, the first system to provide location services to end-users without compromising their location privacy. My research at Purdue has been very fruitful and has resulted in several prestigious awards including a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to develop space-partitioned generalized search trees, a 10-year most impactful paper award for the Casper research, among other awards. I am very grateful to Purdue for providing such an unparalleled and excellent environment for research."

- Walid Aref, professor of computer science, Purdue University

Last Updated: May 11, 2023 3:52 PM

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