Help Find Jim Gray

This just came through on the HPCwire mailing list. I’ve been watching this unfold for a week now, having been reading Jim Gray’s papers for years, and it would be sad to see him gone. I repost this information in the hopes that more people will join the search and we can find him or conclusively determine what happened to him. If you can sort through a few images a lot of people would be very grateful.


The disappearance of computer scientist, Jim Gray, has initiated an
unprecedented Internet-based search, with thousands of volunteers
examining online satellite images. Gray, 63, hasn’t been seen since he
sailed from San Francisco on Sunday, January 28, to scatter his mother’s
ashes near the Farallon Islands. He was reported missing by his wife
that evening when he failed to return home. The Coast Guard called off
its search last week after combing the area for five days.

Gray, a winner of the prestigious ACM Turing Award in 1998, is
well-known for his pioneering work is databases and transaction
processing. He joined Microsoft 10 years ago, where he manages Microsoft
Research’s eScience Group.

Over the past weekend many of Jim Gray’s friends worked to obtain
satellite and aerial imagery, hoping to find him and his 40-foot
sailboat. A team of engineers and scientists from Google, Amazon,
Microsoft and NASA, along with the public, have been invited to scan
thousands of the satellite photographs of the search area. Two
approaches are being used: human and computer analysis. The human
analysis is taking place via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk site
, and
this has involved some 6,000 volunteers looking through nearly 100,000
images since Friday evening. Once these volunteers flag an image as
containing an object of interest, these are passed to another group of
experts who look through all of the flagged images, also using
Mechanical Turk. The group is still looking for volunteers to search the
satellite photos and experts to analyze the flagged images.

For an overview of the process, please visit