Rajeev Motwani (1962 – 2009)
(Former Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Stanford University)

Ph.D. 1988 (Computer Science, U.C. Berkeley)
B.Tech. 1983 (Computer Science, IIT Kanpur)

Rajeev Motwani was a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he also served as the Director of Graduate Studies. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Berkeley in 1988 and his research has spanned a diverse set of areas in computer science, including databases, data mining, and data privacy, web search and information retrieval, robotics, computational drug design, and theoretical computer science.

Rajeev has written two books – Randomized Algorithms published by Cambridge University Press in 1995, and an undergraduate textbook published by Addison-Wesley in 2001. He received the Godel Prize, the Okawa Foundation Research Award, the Arthur Sloan Research Fellowship, the National Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Kanpur, the Bergmann Memorial Award from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and an IBM Faculty Award. He was a Fellow of the ACM and of the Institute of Combinatorics and served on the editorial boards of SIAM Journal on Computing, Journal of Computer and System Sciences, ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data and IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. Rajeev also served on various industry boards and advisory boards, including Adchemy, Anchor Intelligence, BASES, Baynote, DotEdu Ventures, Flarion, Google, Mimosa Systems, Neopath Networks, Revenue Science, Stanford Student Enterprises Ventures, and Vuclip. He was a charter member of TIE (The IndUS Entrepreneurs) and on the board of BASES (Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students).

Rajeev Circle is an unusual community of friends and family of late Stanford Professor Rajeev Motwani and his wife Asha Jadeja. The group came together in 2009 following a tragic accident, to which they lost Rajeev. Driven by the intensity of this sudden loss and a dogged resolve to protect and nurture the ethos of what Rajeev embodied as a father figure of Silicon Valley – an incomprehensible capacity to give of himself in ways that has changed the destiny of our planet.

This tight knit circle of friends and family volunteered their time to try and minimize the impact of the void left behind by Rajeev. From taking on Rajeev’s PhD students, to helping Asha and their young family, to picking up where Rajeev might have left his favorite theorem. Through this time of incredible love and loss, a community emerged in the Valley that only a genuine giving of self can create.

This group is now about 400 strong, woven together by a fabric of unprecedented emotional and intellectual intensity. The Rajeev Circle includes students and faculty from Stanford and UC Berkeley, Googlers (Rajeev’s algorithmic baby), Asha and Rajeev’s startup founders, friends from their Grad School days, Rajeev’s IIT Kanpur buddies, his rock band, his enormous network of ex PhD students (who now form the core of theoretical computer science faculty at top US universities), and extended family members.

The group meets routinely to maintain the essence of Rajeev’s legacy and work through mentorship of young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Valley.