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报告题目(Title)My Technical Life: A Retrospective View


时间(Date & Time)July 4, 3:30-4:30PM


地点(Location)理科二号楼2736(燕园校区) Room 2736, Science Building #2 (Yanyuan)

主讲人(Speaker)C. Mohan

邀请人(Host)Bin Cui(崔斌)




In this talk, using my own life as an example, I discuss the excitement of doing research and developing advanced technologies. Starting with my undergraduate days as a chemical engineering student at IIT Madras, I narrate how my academic life changed when I got introduced to an IBM mainframe which led to my ultimately doing a PhD in computer science at University of Texas at Austin. Along the way, I talk about the frustrations of the prolonged hunt for a PhD thesis topic. Then, I trace my professional career at IBM which included working on hot topics as well as what were initially thought by others to be passé topics which turned out to be not so! I deal with the difficulties of getting papers published and doing technology transfer to new products as well as old ones. Having never been a manager during my entire 38.5 years IBM career, even though as an IBM Fellow I had been an IBM executive for 23 years, I bring a unique perspective on what it takes to be on a long-term purely technical career path. I discuss the DOs and DONTs of choosing technical topics to work on, and on being successful in having impact internally and outside one's employer. Based in general on my extensive travels across the world and in particular on my experience of working as the IBM India Chief Scientist, while based in Bangalore for almost 3 years, I also address issues that arise in being part of a multinational corporation and trying to be successful in doing deeply technical work in a developing country. I also talk about how I am keeping myself active technically and professionally since my retirement from IBM in June 2020.



Dr. C. Mohan is currently a Distinguished Professor of Science at Hong Kong Baptist University, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in China, and a Member of the inaugural Board of Governors of Digital University Kerala, and an Advisor of the Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA) and the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) in India. He retired in June 2020 from being an IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. He was an IBM researcher for 38.5 years in the database, blockchain, AI and related areas, impacting numerous IBM and non-IBM products, the research and academic communities, and standards, especially with his invention of the well-known ARIES family of database locking and recovery algorithms, and the Presumed Abort distributed commit protocol. This IBM (1997-2020), ACM (2002-) and IEEE (2002-) Fellow has also served as the IBM India Chief Scientist (2006-2009). In addition to receiving the ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award (1996), the VLDB 10 Year Best Paper Award (1999) and numerous IBM awards, Mohan was elected to the United States and Indian National Academies of Engineering (2009), and named an IBM Master Inventor (1997). This Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras (1977) received his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin (1981). He is an inventor of 50 patents. During the last many years, he focused on Blockchain, AI, Big Data and Cloud technologies (, Since 2017, he has been an evangelist of permissioned blockchains and the myth buster of permissionless blockchains. During 1H2021, Mohan was the Shaw Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where he taught a seminar course on distributed data and computing. In 2019, he became an Honorary Advisor to the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) for its blockchain and other projects. In 2020, he joined the Advisory Board of the Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA). Since 2016, Mohan has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. In 2021, he was inducted as a member of the inaugural Board of Governors of the new Indian University Digital University Kerala (DUK). Mohan has served on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum, and on numerous conference and journal boards. During most of 2022, he was a non-employee consultant at Google with the title of Visiting Researcher. He has also been a Consultant to the Microsoft Data Team. Mohan is a frequent speaker in North America, Europe and Asia. He has given talks in 43 countries. He is highly active on social media and has a huge network of followers. More information can be found in the Wikipedia page at and his homepage at