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Pioneer of Google’s Data Centers Dies at 58

Pioneer of Google’s Data Centers Dies at 58
Pioneer of Google’s Data Centers Dies at 58

Luiz André Barroso, a visionary engineer who played a pivotal role in shaping the modern internet, passed away unexpectedly on November 21, 2023, at the age of 58. Barroso was widely recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the design and development of Google’s massive data centers, which underpin the company’s search engine, cloud computing services, and a wide range of other online applications.

Born in Brazil, Barroso earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro before pursuing a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Southern California. In 1999, he joined Google, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become a senior vice president.

Barroso’s most significant contribution to the tech industry was his work on Google’s data centers. He pioneered the use of commodity hardware, open-source software, and innovative cooling techniques to create scalable and efficient data centers that could handle the ever-growing demands of the internet. These innovations laid the foundation for the modern cloud computing industry, enabling companies to store and process vast amounts of data on demand.

Beyond his technical expertise, Barroso was also a respected mentor and leader. He fostered a culture of innovation at Google and encouraged his team to push the boundaries of what was possible. He was also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Barroso’s legacy extends far beyond Google. His work on data centers has had a profound impact on the way we live and work today, and his innovations continue to shape the future of the internet. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, friends, and the tech community as a whole.

In addition to his work on data centers, Barroso also made significant contributions to other areas of computer science, including distributed systems, operating systems, and storage systems. He was a prolific author and speaker, and he served on the advisory boards of several academic institutions and industry organizations.

Barroso’s death is a significant loss to the tech industry. He was a visionary leader who helped to shape the modern internet. His work will continue to have a profound impact on the way we live and work for years to come.

Tributes to Luiz André Barroso

Barroso’s death has been met with an outpouring of tributes from friends, colleagues, and leaders in the tech industry. Here are a few of the many tributes that have been shared:

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google: “Luiz was a true titan of the tech industry. He was a brilliant engineer, a visionary leader, and a kind and generous mentor. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Google and by the entire tech community.”
Jeff Dean, Senior Fellow at Google: “Luiz was a true innovator and a pioneer in the field of data centers. He was also a wonderful friend and colleague. I will miss him dearly.”

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft: “Luiz was a brilliant engineer and a visionary leader. He was also a kind and generous man. I will miss him dearly.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta: “Luiz was a true pioneer in the tech industry. He was a brilliant engineer, a visionary leader, and a beloved mentor. He will be deeply missed.”

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: “Luiz was a brilliant engineer and a visionary leader. He was also a kind and generous man. I will miss him dearly.”

Barroso’s death is a reminder of the profound impact that individuals can have on the world. He was a true pioneer who helped to shape the modern internet, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

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