Dr Yeturu Aahlad From Chennai, India to Silicon Valley and ground breaking research in distributed computing

Episode 2,  May 31, 2020, 10:24 AM

Dr Yeturu Aahlad or simply Aahlad as he is better known was born in Chennai (formerly Madras), India he studied his undergrad at IIT Madras in Electrical Engineering. He went on to gain a PhD in Computer Science, from The University of Texas, Austin where he studied with some of the greats in computer science, including one Edsger W. Dijkstra. Dijkstra is in fact credited as being a major driving forces behind the acceptance of computer programming as a scientific discipline.

Hired by IBM as an intern after a noisy critique at an academic conference he filed 3 patents over a few months in the summer. He went on to become distributed systems architect at SUN Microsystems where he authored parts of CORBA (I remember someone once asking Aahlad how he knew CORBA couldn’t do what we do and his answer was the best ever “because I wrote both”.)

In 2005 we founded WANdisco together on the back of 5 years of research that Aahlad had completed on reliable and available distributed systems, which led to his discovery of the Paxos algorithm, still not widely known at that time. He has directly authored over 30 patents in distributed computing (among others) and, in my opinion, is one of the world’s greatest computer scientists.