Michel Scholl

Michel Scholl, Professor Emeritus at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, died on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at the age of 68.

Michel received his Engineering degree in 1966 from l'école Nationale Supérieure des Télecommunications (ENST - Télecom ParisTech), his PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1977, and the Docteur d'Éat en Informatique from l'INPG, Grenoble in 1985. He began his professional career as a researcher in computer science at INRIA-Rocquencourt where he spent more than 25 years. He was a co-founder and leading member of the VERSO database group where he made major scientific contributions to the database field.

In 1989, Michel joined the CEDRIC laboratory at CNAM, Paris as Full Professor and founded the database research team Vertigo (now SIBD). From the very beginning, Michel developed his research and teaching activities with exemplary enthusiasm and responsibility. Michel designed a comprehensive database systems program with solid scientific foundations, greatly appreciated by students for its high quality and balance between academic rigor and practical knowledge. Michel was entirely committed to the mission of CNAM, which includes continuing education for adults as well as doctoral programs in partnership with the EDITE graduate school.

At CNAM, Michel was an energetic and vibrant leader of the Vertigo research team, where he supervised about fifteen doctoral theses. Guided by an eclectic, open-minded vision of the field, Michel was always attracted to solving large-scale data management problems in emerging application domains such as geographic databases, genome databases, document archives, large image collections and the web in general. Under his leadership, the team acquired an international scientific reputation and developed strong links with various national and foreign communities and research centers.

Michel is internationally known for his lasting contributions to the diverse areas mentioned above. He co-authored two books and about 90 research papers. He was the recipient of the ACM SIGMOD Test of Time Award in 2004, recognizing contributions of long-lasting impact on database research. Michel was also very active as a leader of the database community. He was the principal investigator for more than fifteen French and European research projects. He was vice-president of the scientific committee of the French National Research Agency (ANR Programme Blanc and Jeunes Chercheurs) and expert evaluator for the French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education, AERES. He was also active in the international scientific community, serving as a member of the program committees of ACM SIGMOD, VLDB and ICDE.

Beyond his professional contributions, we will particularly remember Michel's human qualities. Curious about all things in life and research, open to other people and ideas, kind and friendly, but also able to defend his ideas with enthusiasm and warmth, he was especially attentive to the most humble among the people around him. His constant involvement and commitment, his unrelenting support of his colleagues and friends, his openness and his passion will remain an example to follow for all of us. All who had the chance to work directly with him and many others who simply met him from time to time, will remember him, above all, as a great humanist.

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