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Hebrew University confers Honorary Doctorate degree on Professor Jeffrey Ullman, renowned computer science researcher and a founder of database theory

Professor Ullman's highly influential textbooks revolutionized the content of database courses that have educated generations of computer scientists.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem President Professor Asher Cohen (left) presented world-renowned computer science researcher, Professor Jeffrey D. Ullman (center) with a prestigious Honorary Doctorate degree during the 86th Board of Governors Meeting on June 12, 2023, in Jerusalem. Professor Tamir Sheafer, Hebrew University Rector, is on his right. Credit: Yossi Zamir.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem President Professor Asher Cohen (left) presented world-renowned computer science researcher, Professor Jeffrey D. Ullman (center) with a prestigious Honorary Doctorate degree during the 86th Board of Governors Meeting on June 12, 2023, in Jerusalem. Professor Tamir Sheafer, Hebrew University Rector, is on his right. Credit: Yossi Zamir.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) presented world-renowned computer science researcher and co-founder of database theory, Professor Jeffrey D. Ullman, with a prestigious Honorary Doctorate degree during the 86th Board of Governors Meeting on June 12 in Jerusalem. 

Professor Ullman, the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor of Computer Science (Emeritus), has been a leader in the database theory field. His highly influential textbooks revolutionized the content of database courses that have educated generations of distinguished computer scientists. Professor Ullman was the Ph.D. advisor for Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin and served on Google’s technical advisory board.

He is also a Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Gradiance Corporation, which designs homework and labs that encourage students to learn from their mistakes and complete assignments correctly.  

At the ceremony, HU President Professor Asher Cohen conferred upon Professor Ullman the degree of Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa, “In recognition of his tremendous contributions to the field of computer science, in tribute to his academic achievements, including the prestigious A.M. Turing Award; and with immense gratitude for his and Holly’s close friendship with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including their support of teaching assistants and an endowed lectureship.” 

Acknowledging the accolade, Professor Ullman said, “I am honored to receive this degree and have been pleased to witness Hebrew University’s success encouraging researcher cooperation and applying computer science big data and evaluative techniques to new fields of study. This helps break down academic silos, encourages new directions in research, and advances the Hebrew University’s mission to expand the boundaries of knowledge in service to Israel and the world.”  

Professor Ullman and his wife, Holly, have been involved with Hebrew University for many years. They have pledged a $1 million gift to the university for the Scharf-Ullman Endowed Lectureship in Data and Computing Research and the Scharf-Ullman Graduate Scholarship Fund for Data and Computing Research. This gift also encourages cooperation between computer scientists and researchers in fields as diverse as medicine, political science, agriculture, and archaeology.

In 2020, he was a co-recipient of the Association of Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award, the highest distinction in computer science. It celebrated Professor Ullman’s contributions of lasting and major technical importance to computer science.

Other prizes and awards include the Donald E. Knuth Prize, the SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the Free University of Brussels (1975); the University of Paris-Dauphine (1992); and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2016). 

Professor Ullman has served on numerous technical and scientific advisory boards, editorial boards, and corporate boards of directors, sharing his expertise with government agencies, commercial companies, and start-ups. He has also contributed to committees at academic and government institutions across the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. 

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and Science and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. 

Professor Ullman received a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1966 and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mathematics from Columbia University in 1963. 

He lives with his wife, Holly, in Stanford, California. 

About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. Serving over 23,000 students from 80 countries, the university produces nearly 40% of Israel’s civilian scientific research and has received over 11,000 patents. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal. For more information about the Hebrew University, visit: http://new.huji.ac.il/en.

About American Friends of the Hebrew University 

American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for-profit organization based in the United States. AFHU is headquartered in New York and has seven regional offices working in close partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni, and the public with stimulating programs and events and organizes missions to Israel. The organization’s activities support scholarly and scientific achievement at HU, create scholarships, fund new facilities, and assist the university’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty.

For more information, visit http://www.afhu.org.

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About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. Serving over 23,000 students from 80 countries, the University produces nearly 40% of Israel’s civilian scientific research and has received more than 11,000 patents. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal. For more information about the Hebrew University, visit: http://new.huji.ac.il/en. 
About American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU): American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for-profit organization based in the United States. AFHU is headquartered in New York and has seven regional offices working in close partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni, and the public with stimulating programs and events and organizes missions to Israel. The organization’s activities support scholarly and scientific achievement at HU, create scholarships, fund new facilities, and assist the university’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty. For more information, visit: www.afhu.org.
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