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Samuel Madden
MIT College of Computing Distinguished Professor of Computing

Email: madden AT csail DOT mit DOT edu
Phone: (617)258-6643
Assistant: Angelly Arriola (aarriola AT mit DOT edu)

Room 32-G938
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
32 Vassar St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

I am the faculty director of the Systems that Learn Initiative and co-direct the Data Systems and AI Lab and the Data Systems Group.

Personal Information

  • Short bio
  • Ph.D. (Berkeley) 2003; M.Eng. (MIT) 1999; B.S. (MIT) 1999.



My primary research focus is on database systems, including main memory databases, data warehousing/analytics, querying video data, and machine learning for data systems.

Recent and current research projects and interests include:

Past projects include:
  • Mapster a set of tools for generating street maps from satellite imagery and GPS traces.

  • Datahub, a "github for data" platform that provides hosted database storage, versioning, ingest, search, and visualization.

  • BlinkDB A system for runing queries with bounded errors and bounded response times on very large data

  • Silo, a main memory high throughput transaction processing system that uses novel concurrency control algorithms and lock free data structures to provide scalability without partitioning.

  • The CarTel networking and data management system for mobile sensor networks.

  • C-Store, a column-oriented high performance database system for warehouse and semantic web applications.

  • Relational Cloud, a project looking at building a scalable database service for the cloud.

  • H-Store, a next generation high-performance OLTP engine.

  • WaveScope, a signal-oriented stream processing system.

  • Qurk, a project investigating how people (as accessed via crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon's Mechanical Turk) can be integrated into query processing.

  • SciDB, a multi-institution project developing a data management platform for scientific applications, including astronomy and computational biology.
  • The MACAQUE project, which focused on identifying ways to make data collected from sensor networks more reliable and useful.

  • Developing novel query processing and optimization techniques for sensor networks and other acquisitional systems.

  • TinyDB (a part of TinyOS.)

  • Aurora/Borealis stream processor. TelegraphCQ continuous query processor.


Current Ph.D. students:

Graduated Ph.D. students:
Graduated M.Eng. students (Partial List, not updated after ~2010):

Publications and Talks

Awards and Honors

  • C. V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Research Award, UC Berkeley, 2003
  • VLDB 2004 Best Paper Award
  • NSF CAREER Award (Project Page), 2005
  • MIT TR35 Outstanding Researcher Under the Age of 35, 2005
  • MobiCom Best Paper Award, 2006
  • SenSys Best Demo Award, 2006
  • Sloan Fellowship, 2007
  • IBM Facutly Development Award, 2007
  • VLDB Best Paper Award, 2007
  • Sensys Best Paper Award, 2009
  • VLDB Best Demo Award, 2011
  • CIDR Best Paper Award, 2013
  • SIGMOD Test of Time Award ("Acqusitional Query Processing, SIGMOD 2003"), 2013
  • VLDB Test of Time Award ("C-Store, VLDB 2005"), 2015
  • SIGMOD Contributions Award, 2016
  • SIGMOD Test of Time Award ("Fault-tolerance in the Borealis distributed stream processing system, SIGMOD 2005"), 2017
  • MIT Burgess (1952) & Elizabeth Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2018
  • SIGMOBILE Test of Time Award, ("CarTel: A Distributed Mobile Sensor Computing System"), 2018
  • ACM Sensys Test of Time Award, ("VTrack: Accurate, Energy-aware Road Traffic Delay Estimation Using Mobile Phones"), 2019
  • ACM Fellow, 2020

Company Involvement

  • I am the Chief Scientist of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a Cambridge, MA-based startup that develops solutions to make roads safter by making drivers better.
  • I am a technical advisor to Map-D, a GPU-based database analytics and visualization startup.
  • I am a technical advisor to Instabase, a platform to help people solve problems with data.
  • I am a technical advisor to B12, a startup focused on orchestrating creative workers to help build technology products.
  • I was a co-founder of Vertica, a column-oriented database system. Vertica was acquired by HP in 2011.

Miscellaneous Technical Articles and Software

Community Activities

  • SIGMOD 2004 Demo Committee
  • OSDI 2004 Program Committee
  • Organizer of the 2004 DMSN Workshop on Data Management in Wireless Sensor Networks held with VLDB 2004.
  • CIDR 2005 Program Committee
  • ICDE 2005 Program Committee
  • SIGMOD 2005 Program Committee
  • VLDB 2005 Program Committee
  • Organizer of the 2005 DMSN Workshop on Data Management in Wireless Sensor Networks held with VLDB 2005.
  • IPSN 2006 Program Committee
  • SIGMOD 2006 Demo Committee
  • KDD 2006 Program Committee
  • SenSys 2006 Program Committee
  • SenSys 2006 Publications Chair
  • SIGMOD 2007 Program Committee
  • CIDR 2007 Program Committee
  • DCOSS 2007 Systems Subcommitte Program Chair
  • VLDB 2007 Program Committee
  • VLDB 2008 Industrial Track Program Committee
  • SIGMOD 2008 Program Committee
  • IPSN 2008 PC Co-Chair
  • ICDE 2009 Program Committee
  • PVLDB 2010 Program Committee
  • PVLDB 2011 Program Commitee
  • SIGMOD 2011 Program Committee
  • Editorial Board Member, Internet Computing (2006--2014)
  • Editorial Board Member, Transactions on Sensor Networks (2005--2010)
  • SIGMOD 2016 Program Chair
  • Co-organizer North East Database Day (NEDBDay) 2023