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Edward M. McCreight

I live in Zürich, Switzerland.  I grew up in Washington, PA (Pennsylvania, USA), and attended the College of Wooster ('66) and Carnegie-Mellon University.  I've played with computers since 1963.  I am retired.  In the past I have worked at Boeing, Xerox PARC, and Adobe Systems.  I have been a guest professor at the University of Washington, Stanford University, the Technical University of Munich, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Before moving to Zürich, I lived thirty-two years in Los Altos, CA (California, USA) (2008)

I regularly read email addressed to:

I am occasionally asked what the B in B-Tree means.  I recall it as a lunchtime discussion that you never in your wildest dreams imagine will one day have deep historical significance.  We wanted the name to be short, quick to type, easy to remember.  It honored our employer, Boeing Airplane Company, but we wouldn't have to request permission to use the name.  It suggested Balance.  Rudolf Bayer was the senior researcher of the two of us.  We had been admiring the elegant natural balance of AVL Trees, but for reasons clear to American English speakers, the name BM Tree was a non-starter.  I don't recall one meaning standing out above the others that day.  Rudolf is fond of saying that the more you think about what the B could mean, the more you learn about B-Trees, and that is good. (2012)