Sid Kitchel


Sid Kitchel studied history and philosophy of science with a specialty in the history of modern astronomy at Indiana University, Bloomington, but for most of his career he was a computer scientist. In the 1980s he was associate professor of computer science at California State University Sacramento. During the Vietnam War, as a naval officer he worked on the Naval Tactical Data System. He was employee number 2 at the startup Data Parallel Systems, Inc., where he was a database designer helping to build a massively parallel database system. Besides operating with thousands of processors, this system indexed whole data domains, not just tables as in regular database systems. This feature led Sid to suggest building a dynamic two-phase query optimizer, impossible in any other database system in the world. During his time at DPSI he proved, as principal investigator on a NASA SBIR project, that the powerful, massively parallel DBMS could speed up the operations of an Oracle distributed database. This was of interest to NASA because of the distributed nature of the Earth Observing System. In 1996 he moved to Portland, Oregon, to work on the Informix object-oriented database system. Sid retired in 2016, ending his career with ten years as senior data architect at Business Wire, the Berkshire Hathaway business news company.