Josephine Cheng


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Josephine Cheng was born January 1, 1953, in Vietnam and was naturalized as a US citizen on March 8, 1984. She received a B.S. in mathematics and computer science and an M.S. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1975 and 1977 respectively.

Ms. Cheng is an entrepreneur in San Jose, California after retiring from IBM on January 1, 2016. She was appointed to IBM Fellow in 2000 and held numerous Vice President positions in the United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Ms. Cheng was the head of IBM Research - Almaden where she oversaw the work of scientists and engineers doing exploratory and applied research in various hardware, software and service areas, including: nanotechnology, materials science, storage systems, data management, web technologies, workplace practices and user interfaces. She had also served as vice president of IBM China Development Laboratories and led the China Software Development Laboratory (CSDL) located in three major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, with a combined total of more than 3,000 employees. Ms. Cheng has been at the forefront of relational database technology for over thirty years. She was also principally responsible for developing IBM's database technology for the web, allowing people to access huge amounts of data via the internet that was previously accessible only through proprietary systems. Her teams have produced such database technologies and products as: DB2 World-Wide Web and its follow-on, Net.Data, providing web access to corporate databases; XML Extender for DB2, permitting popular XML-formatted data to be integrated into DB2; and DB2 Everyplace, a tiny, totally self-managing database system that extends the power of DB2 to convenient pervasive computing devices such as handheld computers and cellular phones.

Ms. Cheng was elected to the NAE in 2006 for her sustained leadership and contributions to relational database technology and its pervasive applications to a wide range of digital operational systems. She has served on the NAE Industrial, Manufacturing and Operational Systems Engineering Peer Committee, and the Bernard M. Gordon Prize Committee. She has also served on the NRC Planning Committee for a Workshop on Overcoming the Technical and Policy Constraints that Limit Large-Scale Data Integration, and the Panel for Information Technology.

Ms. Cheng serves on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Advisory Board of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), San Jose State University’s Engineering Industry Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the UCB Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) Board, the University of Miami Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Industrial Advisory Board, the Silicon Valley CTO Forum Advisory Board, and the Anita Borg Institute For Women and Technology Board.

Ms. Cheng has received numerous awards and honors: the Asian American Engineer of the Year award (2003), named as one of the Top 10 Software Leaders in China (2006), the prestigious Professional Achievement Award from UCLA (2007), and the 2010 UCLA Alumna of the Year award. She has been awarded 28 patents for her inventions.

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