Motwani dies in freak mishap

Motwani dies in freak mishap

Motwani, 47, apparently drowned on Friday in a backyard swimming pool of his home he purchased three years ago, the Mercurynews.com said on Saturday citing officials.

His friends said he did not know how to swim, but was planning to take lessons. Friends speculated that Motwani may have slipped and fallen into the pool. Paramedics were called when his body was found, and he was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.28 pm on Friday, the San Mateo County office said. He is survived by his wife, Asha Jadeja, and daughters Naitri and Anya.

The news of Motwani’s death struck like a thunderclap in Silicon Valley. Blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter communications were filled with testimonials to a brilliant, kind man who was never too busy to help a budding entrepreneur or struggling graduate student. He helped many valley startups gain a foothold, but none so famous as Google, whose co-founder Sergey Brin mourned for him on Saturday.

Silicon Valley’s “ecosystem” has suffered a major blow with Motwani’s death, said a friend, Ron Conway. “He’s a great example on how the Silicon Valley ecosystem works,” said Conway, “which is why everyone is so upset at this tragedy. We’ve lost one of the best contributors to the Silicon Valley ecosystem.”

Born March 26, 1962, in Jammu in India, Motwani grew up in New Delhi, earned a computer science degree from the IIT-Kanpur, in 1983, and a doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley in 1988.

His work had a major impact on the field of algorithms. It was in the field of data mining that he made some of his seminal contributions. The field is the basis of much of modern Internet commerce and the operation of search engines such as Google. Motwani won the highest honour for theoretical computer science, the Goedel Prize, as well as earning an Alfred P Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.

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