Good Bye, dear Rajeev Motwani

I am just shocked to hear of the sad and untimely demise of Rajeev Motwani, well-known angel investor and professor of Computer Science at Stanford.  He was an adviser to the Google founders from the start and invested in several start-ups. After graduating from IIT, Kanpur in 1983, Rajeev joined EECS at UC Berkeley and got his Ph.D. Then he joined the faculty at Stanford and has been teaching/researching for last 20 years. His special interest was in data mining, computational theory, and algorithms.

Back in 2003, at the suggestion of a few friends, Rajeev and I started a technology think-tank group to share new ideas. It did not last very long due to our hectic schedules. But the first meeting was held in San Jose, where Rajeev spoke of his work in “data streams” and Eric Brewer of Berkely talked about his CAP theorem and BASE theory. We had several very smart folks who enjoyed listening to Rajeev’s passion for new technology. I was fortunate to have been invited to a few of Rajeev’s investment companies as an informal adviser. I always enjoyed talking to him and was impressed with his inquisitiveness to ask many real-world questions about new technology.

He will be missed in the silicon valley technology circles. I pray for his wife Asha to have the courage to sustain this terrible loss.

I feel extremely humbled at this moment on the ephemeral nature of life.

Rest in peace my friend.

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2 responses to “Good Bye, dear Rajeev Motwani

  1. Jnan
    I had not had the privilege of knowing Rajeev as you did. But I did listen to him at a couple of places. And was just blown away when I read of what transpired. Pray for his wife and kids.

    Subraya Mallya

  2. hemendra godbole

    Gyan,
    Our prayers are with Asha and the kids. I knew of Rajeev through my cousin (Sunil Shende) who is also an ’83 CS/IITK grad .. Lots to learn from Rajeev, which in a way when we apply those lessons, reminds us of him still being with us. Lets catch up one of these days .. life is too short!

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