Skip to main content
Press release
July 11, 2008

Acclaimed Database Expert named Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences

photo: michael carey


Michael Carey, internationally recognized as a leader in database research, joined the UC Irvine faculty as a Donald Bren Professor in Information and Computer Sciences, effective July 1.

Carey is best known for his work on advanced database systems and database system performance. His most influential academic projects have been the EXODUS and SHORE database systems, which continue to influence designers and researchers in the field. In industry, he contributed to IBM’s DB2 Universal Database system and played a leadership role for BEA Systems’ data integration and management solutions.

These systems are widely used in the banking, insurance and healthcare industries, and they also have many government applications. Considering the widespread nature of data and their connections to systems that enhance the quality of life, Carey’s work at the Bren School will be critical for the future.

“The addition of Michael Carey to our distinguished faculty further strengthens the Bren School’s database group,” Dean Debra Richardson said. “Carey has had tremendous influence on researchers as indicated by how often his work is cited as well as the endurance of his work.”

Carey, a National Academy of Engineering member, is acknowledged as one of the 50 most influential computer scientists in the world by a UCLA-maintained Web site that tracks research citations. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and was the 2005 recipient of the association’s SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award.

Carey also has earned two of the most esteemed research publication awards in the database field: the Very Large Data Base (VLDB) Conference’s 10-Year Best Paper Award in 1996, and the 2004 Test of Time Paper Award at the ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data’s International Conference (SIGMOD).

He has authored more than 50 publications that have received more than 50 citations – a rare milestone for computer scientists Additionally, 10 of those works have each achieved more than 200 citations.

"I'm very happy to be joining the ICS faculty at UC Irvine," Carey said. "I am impressed by the depth and breadth of the ICS school and by the quality and the energy of the faculty that I met. I started my career in academia, but then moved to industry after a dozen or so years for a change of pace and a different kind of experience. I'm now excited to have this opportunity to bring some of what I've learned during my 'industrial phase' back to the classroom."

Carey is the 13th Donald Bren Professor at UCI. Other Bren Professors include Francisco J. Ayala, evolutionary biologist and 2002 National Medal of Science honoree; Thomas J. Carew, a leading researcher in the neurobiological field of learning and memory; F. Sherwood Rowland, atmospheric chemist and 1995 Nobel Laureate in chemistry; and Douglas Wallace, a National Academy of Science member and one of the world’s top geneticists.

Carey fills the fourth of 10 professorships created by Bren’s $20-million gift to the computer science school at UCI that bears his name. Ramesh Jain, a renowned computer scientist focusing on multimedia-information systems, image databases, machine vision and intelligent systems, was named the first Bren Professor in ICS in January 2005. Gary and Judy Olson, pioneers in human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work who also started at UCI on July 1, were named Bren Professors in ICS in April.

Carey comes to UCI from BEA Systems – now Oracle Corporation – in San Jose, where he worked as a senior engineering director and software architect. Before BEA, Carey spent five years at the IBM Almaden Research Center, as well as a year and a half at an Internet start-up company, Propel Software. His distinguished academic career includes more than a decade as a computer science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the nation’s powerhouses in database research and development.

Carey earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and mathematics and a master’s in electrical engineering (computer engineering) from Carnegie-Mellon University, and he received his doctorate in computer science from UC Berkeley. He will earn an annual salary of $215,000.

Media interested in interviewing ICS faculty, students or alumni should contact Matt Miller at (949) 824-1562 or via email at