Today (13th July 2022) is Guru purnima, a day in India where you celebrate the Guru's (ultimate teacher) for their contributions towards your life. I want to take this occasion to pay my tribute to my PhD advisor Sir. Prof. Dr. Martin Kersten in his late 60s full of life / energy always and coding always, who sadly / shockingly / disturbingly passed away last week after a battle with leukemia (blood cancer) that got detected in Nov 2021 and resulting complications that worsened his health severely.
Martin, renowned distinguished researcher with almost all highest awards possible in database research worldwide, Dutch knighthood honor, founder of MonetDB opensource database and later MonetDB services commercial arm, that laid foundation for column store databases worldwide was one of the most respected database research personnel and leaves a tremendous legacy and body of work behind.
He was one of the kindest/ social/ generous professors I had ever met who looked at his lab as his own family and his students as his own kids and helped them in all possible manners.
If you look at his lineage you will find distinguished researchers / professors / entrepreneurs in some of the topmost places in industry / academia and his legacy will continue to live through them and spread further.
I shared a very personal relationship with him where he single handedly was responsible for my successful completion of my PhD and my entry in the Netherlands and later graduation. I cried when I got the news just two days back because I couldn't believe it could be true and he suffered so much in the end days due to his health worsening.
Martin. My deepest respect to you for your special place in my life and for making me who I am during my 5 years of PhD with you working super closely until it finished. I never imagined you could leave us so suddenly in such a way. May you rest in peace and continue to inspire us with your endless energy and ingenuity.
Thank you for everything you did to to make me who I am and for your careful handholding to help me progress.