UMD CS Alumnus Amnon Lotem (Ph.D. 2000) and co-authors Ronald Fagin and Moni Naor have been honored with the 2014 Gödel Prize for their paper, Optimal Aggregation Algorithms for Middleware. This paper introduces the “threshold algorithm”, which is used for gathering multi-sourced information, and provides a framework to design and analyze algorithms that can help aggregate information from multiple data sources. The Gödel prize recognizes outstanding papers in theoretical computer science and is presented by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and ACM’s Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT).
Dr. Lotem first started pursuing the ideas that later formed this paper during a project for CS Professor Mike Franklin’s Database course. "Dr. Franklin suggested [that I] examine an idea for improving an existing algorithm in the area of data aggregation (“Fagin’s algorithm”),” says Dr. Lotem. During the course, Dr. Lotem discovered an optimal algorithm for this problem. Dr. Lotem also credits his Ph.D. Advisor, Dana Nau for his success, “without being [Dr. Nau’s] student at the time, and without the important insights I got from [him], this could not have happened.”