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Thank you, Chuck Thacker.

By Yinglian Xie June 16, 2017

Photo of Yinglian Xie

about Yinglian Xie
Yinglian Xie is CEO and Co-Founder of DataVisor. She was previously at Microsoft Research, where her focus was on advancing the security of online services with big data analytics and machine learning. Yinglian completed both her Ph.D. and post-doctoral work in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and currently holds over 20 patents in her field. A highly-regarded researcher, author, and conference contributor, Yinglian is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data security.

Photo Credit: Marcin Wichary from San Francisco, U.S.A.  

Photo Credit: Marcin Wichary

The technology community lost one of its pioneers this week. Chuck Thacker, part of the foundation of everything we know in computing, passed away at age 74.

Chuck was not only an incredibly important part of our industry, but he was a part of our company and our lives. He was a mentor and friend to both Fang and I at Microsoft Research and we will be forever grateful to him for sharing with us his knowledge, experience, and time.

There is a lot of talk about mentors in the business world, and how important they are when you’re starting your own venture. There are always new things you might be considering or issues you’re facing, and it’s important to identify someone who can offer perspective. It’s an opportunity to seek guidance and learn from other people’s successes and failures.

The thing about having Chuck as a mentor is that his impact extended well beyond the research labs. He made an impact on your daily life.

Chuck was not only a brilliant technologist and researcher, but someone who truly cared about the people trying to push the industry forward. He cared about innovation and he cared about innovators. He was humble and he was generous with his time. He believed in the value of teamwork and encouraged everyone on his teams to help one another. We are grateful to Chuck for his advice.20170615_160223

Our conference rooms here at DataVisor are named after Turing award winners. It’s the highest distinction in computer science and Chuck received this well-deserved honor in 2009. His citation reads:

“For the pioneering design and realization of the first modern personal computer — the Alto at Xerox PARC — and seminal inventions and contributions to local area networks (including the Ethernet), multiprocessor workstations, snooping cache coherence protocols, and tablet personal computers.”

The full list of Chuck’s accomplishments extends well beyond this summary. His work improved the world we live in.

When we founded DataVisor in 2013, Chuck was incredibly supportive of our mission, provided guidance whenever we needed it, and let us know he believed in us. We would not be where we are today without Chuck.

Thank you, Chuck Thacker, for everything. You will be missed.


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