This past Friday, a highly revered Silicon Valley investor Rajeev Motwani had passed away at the age of 47 in his Atherton, California home. The cause of death is currently unknown and he was found at the bottom of his backyard swimming pool.
Motwani is best known for being the advisor of Sergey Brin and Larry Page as they were founding Google. Motwani was an algorithms expert and mathematical theory professor while Brin and Page were students at Stanford University. Motwani helped Page and Brin discover the possibility of analyzing the web as an interconnected graph.
“When my interest turned to data mining, Rajeev helped to coordinate a regular meeting group on the subject. Even though I was just one of hundreds of graduate students in the department, he always made the time and effort to help. Later, when Larry and I began to work together on the research that would lead to Google, Rajeev was there to support us and guide us through challenges, both technical and organizational,” wrote Sergey Brin on his blog.
Prof. Motwani had written and contributed to several books and received the Gödel Prize. Motwani had even invested in several companies such as Tapulous and TokBox.
He was born in Jammu, India and grew up in New Delhi. After that he received a Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. In 1988, he received a Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley and live around Silicon Valley since then. It is a tragic loss, but his contributions to the digital age will live on.