This graduate of Tec de Monterrey and Stanford University will be remembered as an example in the field of computing throughout the world due to his brilliance and humility.
By: Ximena Leyva
Behind Larry Page and Google was Héctor García Molina, who graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He was one of the most important mentors to several of Silicon Valley’s leaders.
Molina contributed to this world with his knowledge and counseling of Google’s creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In the case of Cisco Systems, when Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner decided to create the network company, they bestowed the researcher with an Endowed Chair, an academic research position including a stipend.
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The academic taught computer sciences at Princeton from 1979 to 1991, where both projects, coinciding with Molina’s long-held interests, had at one time only been imagined in the classroom.
This Mexican also dedicated his life to writing a book, Database Systems: the Complete Book, one of those most requested at several universities in the United States and Europe, including UCLA and the University of Florida. It has also been translated into Russian, Polish, and Chinese.
A story published by Expansión in 2011 revealed that in addition to his academic work, García was a technical advisor to companies such as DoCoMo Labs USA, Kintera, and Yahoo! Search & Marketplace, as well as serving on Oracle’s board of directors.
More than 30 years after having left Mexico, Héctor said at the time that he felt satisfied with the projects he’d worked on.
Passing of a legend
Molina graduated from Tec de Monterrey in 1974 with one of the highest grade point averages in the institution’s history. He went on to study a master’s degree and doctorate at Stanford University, later becoming a researcher at that institution. Héctor passed away on Monday, November 25, in the resident’s area for teachers at that university.
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The sad news moved Tec professors and directors, with whom he’d maintained strong bonds of great friendship forged during his time at the institution and over constant visits.
“This Tec alumnus is possibly the most important scientist we’ve known. He created innovations that changed the world, as well as changing his partners and students,” said Salvador Alva, President of the Tec.