Ronald Fagin

Ronald Fagin ( born May 1, 1945 in Oklahoma City ) is an American computer scientist.


Fagin studied at Dartmouth College and received his doctorate in 1973 at the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Vaught. After that he went into the research for IBM, first at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center and in 1975 at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose ( California). He is there in the group on the basics of computer science ( Foundations of Computer Science).


In 1973 he proved in his dissertation the set of Fagin the descriptive complexity theory and finite model theory.

He is known for basic results in the theory of databases, for example, its widely accepted definition of the fourth normal form in relational database theory, his theory of acyclic database systems or work on imprecise ( fuzzy) querying databases ( see, eg, top-N query ). He is one of the inventors of extendible hashing.

He is also known for a basic probabilistic result to logic. In 1976 he proved that the predicate logic over finite structures, a 0-1 law ( zero one law ) is satisfied, independently proved by Y. Glebsky and his students D. Kogan, M. Liogonki, V. Talanov 1969 in the Soviet Union. This was the first 0-1 record in the logic.

2012 W. Wallace McDowell received Fagin the Award and the 2004 ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award. He is an IBM Fellow and member of the IBM Academy of Technology and received eight IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, the IBM Corporate Award and two IBM prices for patents. In 1985 he received the Best Paper Award of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2001, the Best Paper Award at the ACM Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, 2010 and the Best Paper Award of the International Conference on Database Theory. He is also a Fellow of IEEE and ACM Fellow and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Paris.


  • By JY Halpern, Y. Moses, Moshe Y. Vardi Reasoning about Knowledge, MIT Press 1995, 2003