Elizabeth (Betty) O'Neil

27 Ware St., Cambridge, MA 02138



Ph.D., Harvard University, l968, Applied Mathematics

M.A., Harvard University, l964

B.S., MIT, 1963, Applied Mathematics


Research, teaching, and software development in database engines: performance analysis, transactions, XML support, Unicode support, buffering methods. Database-backed web applications and object-relational mapping. Teaching in programming, data structures, software engineering, web technology, operating systems, computer architecture, and networking, all with programming projects.


·         1970-present: Professor, Department of Computer Science, UMassBoston. Developed and taught courses in database systems, web technology, software engineering, operating systems, computer networking, computer architecture, and data structures, as well as Java programming. Developed microprocessor and hardware labs and systems software to support them, including an array of online Intel microprocessor systems with software-controlled reset, and a C software development environment for them. From 1980-2003, Director or co-Director, C.S. Computer Labs, except for a few years here and there. Received college teaching award in 2006.

·         2010: Consulting with Rembrandt IP Management, Bala Cynwyd, PA, on a patent involving a form of object-relational mapping technology. Read and interpreted sources of OpenJPA and Hibernate (both in Java) to see if they used a certain technique covered by the patent.

·         2005-2008: Some database performance consulting for Vertica, Andover, MA.

·         Sabbatical leaves 2000-2001, 1993-1994: Full-time Consultant, Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA. XMLDB and Unicode projects for SQL Server: design, Java prototyping, and C++ production development. Co-author of two patents owned by Microsoft. Earlier, performance analysis of MS database engines, headed task force on database engine strategy.

·         1996-2000: Consultant, Sybase IQ, Concord, MA. Design and implementation of database engine internals in C++ for Sybase IQ.

·         1977-1996: Senior Scientist (part-time), Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Systems/network programming and performance analysis for UNIX and other operating systems, all in a TCP/IP/Ethernet network environment. Wrote Ethernet monitoring system with automatic topology tracking feature, in C.

·         Lecturer in Applied Math, M.I.T., Department of Mathematics, l968-l970.

·         Assistant Professor, N.Y.U., Department of Mathematics, l967-l968

·         Postdoctoral Fellow, N.Y.U., Courant Institute, l966-1967


·       With Patrick O'Neil, Determining serialization order for serializable snapshot isolation. INFORMATION SYSTEMS 58 (2016): 14-23.

·        With Weiwei Gong, Patrick O’Neil, Improving MMDB Distributed Transactional Concurrency, IDEAS 2014, Porto, Portugal, July 2014

·        With Rabl, T., Poess, M., Jacobsen, H.-A., O'Neil, P. Variations of the Star Schema Benchmark to Test the Effects of Data Skew on Query Performance. Proceedings of the 4th ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering, ICPE2013, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 361-372, dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2479927

·         With Patrick O'Neil and Steve Revilak, Precisely Serializable Snapshot Isolation (PSSI), Presented at ICDE11, Hannover Germany, April 2011, ICDE Proceedings pp 482-493.

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Xuedong Chen, and Steve Revilak, The Star Schema Benchmark and Augmented Fact Table Indexing, Presentation at TPCTC (Transaction Processing Performance Council Technical Conference), Lyon, France, 2009. Paper to be published in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

·         Object/relational mapping 2008: Hibernate and the Entity Data Model (EDM), Tutorial, in Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGMOD international conference on Management of Data, June 2008, pp 1345-1350, Vancouver, Canada

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Xuedong Chen, “Adjoined Dimension Column Clustering to Improve Data Warehouse Query Performance”, Poster presentation at ICDE08 (International Conference on Data Engineering), also in Proceedings, Cancun, Mexico, April 2008.  

·         With Patrick O’Neil, "Invited Lectures on "Database Performance", EDBT Summer School, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, September 3-7, 2007. I presented the lectures.

·         With Patrick O’Neil, Kesheng Wu, "Bitmap Index Design Choices and Their Performance Implications," 11th Int. DB Eng. & App. Symp. (IDEAS 07).

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Xuedong Chen. "The Star Schema Benchmark," Preprint, January 2007, online at  http://www.cs.umb.edu/~poneil/StarSchemaB.PDF 

·         With Mike Stonebreaker, Patrick O'Neil, et al. "C-Store: A Column-oriented DBMS", Presented at the 31st VLDB Conference, September 2005

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Alan Fekete,  Dimitrios Liarokapis, and Dennis Shasha, "Making Snapshot Isolation Serializable," ACM TODS, Vol 30, No. 2, June 2005. This work was performed under the NSF Grant: "Isolation Testing in Transactional Systems"

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Shankar Pal, Istvan Cseri, Gideon Schaller, Nigel Westbury, "ORDPATHs: Insert-Friendly XML Node Labels," Presented at the ACM SIGMOD Industrial Track, June 2004.

·         With Alan Fekete,  Patrick O'Neil, A Read-Only Transaction Anomaly Under Snapshot Isolation, published in ACM SIGMOD Record, Vol. 33, No. 3, Sept. 2004 This work was performed under the NSF Grant: "Isolation Testing in Transactional Systems".

·         With Patrick O'Neil, Introductory Two Term Textbook on Database: "Database: Principles, Programming and Performance," 2001, Morgan-Kaufmann. Second Edition.

·         With Denis Rinfret, Patrick O'Neil, "Bit-Sliced Index Arithmetic," Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD Conference, May 2001.

·         With Patrick O'Neil, and Gerhard Weikum, "An Optimality Proof of the LRU-K Page Replacement Algorithm". Journal of the ACM, January 1999, pp. 92-112. This paper contains a mathematical proof that the LRU-K algorithm, first introduced in a 1993 paper listed below, gives optimal behavior under reasonable assumptions of database page access.

·         With Edward Cheng, Dieter Gawlick, and Patrick O'Neil, "The Log-Structured Merge-Tree (LSM-tree)," Galleys returned to Acta Informatica, publication in next issue. Patents applied for by Digital Equipment Corp.

·         With Hal Berenson, Phil Bernstein, Jim Gray, Jim Melton, and Patrick O'Neil, "A Critique of ANSI SQL Isolation Levels," Presented at SIGMOD '95 (ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data Conference, 1995), in June.

·         With Patrick E. O'Neil and Gerhard Weikum, "The LRU-K Page Replacement Algorithm for Database Disk Buffering", Presented at ACM SIGMOD Conference May 1993, Wash. D.C. and published in its Proceedings, May 1993.

·         ``The ARGOT Strategy III: The BBN Butterfly Multiprocessor'', Supercomputing '88, with Craig Shaefer, Nov. 1988, Orlando, included in "Supercomputing 88: Science and Applications", ed. Joanne Martin and Stephen Lundstrom, IEEE Computer Society Press, March 1989, pp 214-227.

·         ``Performance of Blocked Gaussian Elimination on Multiprocessors'', with Henno Allik, Proceedings, SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing, Dec. 1987, published Dec., 1988.

·         ``Finite Element Analysis on the BBN Butterfly Multiprocessor'', with Henno Allik, Denny Moore, and Eric Tenenbaum, Computers and Structures, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1987, pp 13-21.

·         ``Parallelizing Conjugate Gradient for Finite Element Analysis'', with Henno Allik, Denny Moore, and Eric Tenenbaum, Proceedings of the 1987 Summer Computer Simulation Conference, Montreal, July, 1987.

·         ``Finite Element Analysis on the BBN Butterfly Multiprocessor'', with Henno Allik, Denny Moore, and Eric Tenenbaum, Proceedings, Supercomputing '87, Santa Cruz, May 1987.

·         ``Switching-time Statistics for a Ramp-Excited Tunnel Diode Switch,'', with Donald Nelsen, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. IT-23, no. 3, May, l977, pp.415-418.

·         ``A Fast Expected Time Algorithm for Boolean Matrix Multiplication and Transitive Closure'', with Patrick O'Neil, Journal of Information and Control, Vol. 22, no.2, pp. 132-138; Also published in Combinatorial Algorithms, edited by Randall Rustin, Algorithmic Press, l97l.

Last updated June 27, 2016