Peter Chen

Last updated
Peter Chen
Alma mater National Taiwan University
Harvard University
Known forDevelopment of entity-relationship modeling
AwardsStevens Software Innovation Award (2001)
ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award (2002)
IEEE Harry H. Goode Memorial Award (2003)
DAMA International Achievement Award (2000)
Pan Wen-Yuen Research Excellence Award (2004)
Software Eng. Society & SDPS Society Transformative Award (2011)
Fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAS, & ER
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Carnegie Mellon University
Harvard University
University of California
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Louisiana State University

Peter Pin-Shan Chen (Chinese: 陳品山, born in 1947) is a Taiwanese American computer scientist. He is a Distinguished Career Scientist and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, who is known for the development of the entity-relationship model in 1976.

A computer scientist is a person who has acquired the knowledge of computer science, the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their application.

Carnegie Mellon University private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University. With its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon has grown into an international university with over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and more than 20 research partnerships.



Born 1947 in Taichung, Taiwan, Peter Chen received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1968 at the National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. in computer science/applied mathematics at Harvard University in 1973. In 1970, he worked one summer at IBM. After graduating from Harvard, he spent one year at Honeywell and a summer at Digital Equipment Corporation.

Taichung Special municipality in Central Taiwan, Taiwan

Taichung, officially known as Taichung City, is a special municipality located in central Taiwan. Taichung has a population of approximately 2.81 million people and is Taiwan's second most populous city, overtaking Kaohsiung in July 2017. It serves as the core of the Taichung–Changhua metropolitan area, which is the second largest metropolitan area in Taiwan. The current city was formed when Taichung County merged with the original provincial Taichung City to form the special municipality on 25 December 2010.

National Taiwan University A national university in Taipei

National Taiwan University is a national university in Taipei City, Taiwan. NTU is the most prestigious comprehensive university in Taiwan and one of the top ranked universities in the world. It consists of 11 colleges, 56 departments, 112 graduate institutes, four research centers and a school of professional education and continuing studies.

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 13,100 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is cited as the world's top university by many publishers.

From 1974 to 1978 Chen was an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 1978 to 1983 he was associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA Management School). From 1983 to 2011 Chen held the position of M. J. Foster Distinguished Chair Professor of Computer Science at Louisiana State University and, for several years, adjunct professor in its Business School and Medical School (Shreveport). [1] During this time period, he was a visiting professor once at Harvard in '89-'90 and three times at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (EECS Dept. in '86-'87, Sloan School in '90-'91, and Division of Engineering Systems in 06-'07). From 2008 to 2014, he was an Honorary Chair Professor in the Institute of Service Science at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Starting 2016, he is an Honorary Chair Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Asia University, Taiwan. Currently, Chen is a Distinguished Career Scientist and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, U.S.A.

MIT Sloan School of Management business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The MIT Sloan School of Management is the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. MIT Sloan offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, as well as executive education. Its degree programs are among the most selective in the world. MIT Sloan emphasizes innovation in practice and research. Many influential ideas in management and finance originated at the school, including the Black–Scholes model, the Solow–Swan model, the random walk hypothesis, the binomial options pricing model, and the field of system dynamics. The faculty has included numerous Nobel laureates in economics and John Bates Clark Medal winners.

University of California public university system in California

The University of California (UC) is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-system public higher education plan, which also includes the California State University system and the California Community Colleges System.

Louisiana State University university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Louisiana State University is a public research university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and the main campus historic district occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Awards and honors

Chen's original paper [2] is one of the most influential papers in the computer software field based on a survey of more than 1,000 computer science professors documented in a book on "Great Papers in Computer Science". [3] [4] Chen's work is also cited in a book Software Challenges published by Time-Life Books in 1993 in the series on "Understanding Computers." Chen is recognized as one of the pioneers in a book on "Software Pioneers". [5] He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

Chen has received many awards in the fields of Information Technology. [6] He received the Data Resource Management Technology Award from the Data Administration Management Association in New York City in 1990. He was elected as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), IEEE, and ER. [7] He won the Achievement Award in Information Management in 2000 from DAMA International. He was an inductee into the Data Management Hall of Fame in 2000. He received the Stevens Award in Software Method Innovation in 2001. In 2003, Chen received the IEEE Harry H. Goode Memorial Award at the IEEE-CS board of governors meeting in San Diego. He was presented with the ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award at the ACM Banquet in San Diego in June 2003 and International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Acapulco in August 2003. Chen is also the recipient of the Pan Wen-Yuan Outstanding Research Award in 2004. [8] In June 2011 in Jeju Island, Korea, Chen received the Transformative Achievement Medal from Software Engineering Society and the Society for Design and Process Science.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947, and is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society. The ACM is a non-profit professional membership group, claiming nearly 100,000 student and professional members as of 2019. Its headquarters are in New York City.

American Association for the Advancement of Science international non-profit organization promoting science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an American international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of all humanity. It is the world's largest general scientific society, with over 120,000 members, and is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science.

The Stevens Award is a software engineering lecture award given by the Reengineering Forum, an industry association. The international Stevens Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the literature or practice of methods for software and systems development. The first award was given in 1995. The presentations focus on the current state of software methods and their direction for the future.

His innovative work initiated a new field of research and practice called Conceptual Modeling. Since 1979, an annual international professional meeting, the International Conference on Conceptual Modeling has been held in different countries. [7]

The ER - International Conference on Conceptual Modeling is an annual research conference computer science dedicated to information and conceptual modeling. Since the first event in 1979 in Los Angeles, California, USA, the conference has evolved into one of the major forums for research on conceptual modeling and information retrieval.

Peter P. Chen Award

To recognize Chen's pioneering leadership role, the "Peter P. Chen Award" was established in 2008, to honor excellent researchers/educators for outstanding contributions to the field of conceptual modeling each year. [7] The recipients of the Peter P. Chen Award are:

Peter Chen Big Data Young Researcher Award

To recognize Chen's pioneering role and contributions in building the foundation for big data modeling and analysis, the "Peter Chen Big Data Young Researcher Award" was established in 2015 by the Service Society [9] and the steering committee of eight co-located IEEE Conferences (IEEE ICWS/SCC/CLOUD/MS/BigDataCongress/SERVICES), to honor a very promising young big data researcher each year in the IEEE Big Data Congress and co-located conferences, starting from IEEE BigData 2015 Congress. [10] The Peter Chen Big Data Young Researcher Award winners are:


Entity-relationship modeling and conceptual data modeling

The entity-relationship model serves as the foundation of many systems analysis and design methodologies, computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, and repository systems. The ER model is the basis for IBM's Repository Manager/MVS and DEC's CDD/Plus.

Chen's original paper [2] is commonly cited as the definitive reference for entity relationship modeling though the concept of object relationship had been developed a year earlier by Schmid and Swenson as reported in the 1975 ACM SIGMOD Proceedings . Chen is one of the pioneers of using the entity relationship concepts in software and information system modeling and design. Before Chen's paper, the basic entity relationship ideas were used mostly informally by practitioners. Chen first published an abstract and presented his ER model in the First Very Large Database Conference in September 1975, the same year of a paper with similar concepts written by A. P. G. Brown. [11] Chen's main contributions are formalizing the concepts, developing a theory with a set of data definition and manipulation operations, and specifying the translation rules from the ER model to several major types of databases (including the Relational Database). He also popularized the model and introduced it to the academic literature.

The ER model was adopted as the meta model ANSI Standard in Information Resource Directory System (IRDS), and the ER approach has been ranked at the top methodology for database design and one of the top methodologies in systems development by several surveys of Fortune 500 companies. [12]

Computer-aided software engineering

Chen's work is a cornerstone of software engineering, [12] in particular Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, IBM's Application Development Cycle (AD/Cycle) framework and DB2 repository (RM/MVS) were based on the ER model. Other vendors’ repository systems such as Digital's CDD+ were also based on the ER model. Chen has had a significant impact on the CASE industry through his research and his lecturing around the world on structured system development methodologies. The ER model has influenced most of the major CASE tools, including Computer Associates’ ERWIN, Oracle Corporation’s Designer/2000, and Sybase’s PowerDesigner (and even a general drawing tool like Microsoft Visio), as well as the IDEF1X standard. [12] The ER model is also the basis for Microsoft's ADO.NET Entity Framework.

The hypertext concept, which makes the World Wide Web extremely popular, is very similar to the main concept in the ER model. Chen investigated this linkage as an invited expert of several XML working groups of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The ER model also serves as the foundation of some of the recent work on Object-oriented analysis and design methodologies and Semantic Web. The UML modeling language has its roots in the ER model.

Computer performance modeling

In his early career, he was active in R&D activities in computer system performance. He was the program chair of an ACM SIGMETRICS conference. He developed a computer performance model for a major computer vendor. His innovative research results were adopted in commercial computer performance tuning and capacity planning tools.

Memory and storage hierarchy, storage technology, CD-ROM, firmware, and micro-programming

His Ph.D. thesis at Harvard was one of the first studies of cost-performance optimization models of multi-level memory/storage hierarchies. He was also one of the early micro-programmers developing the firmware for a file control unit for an IBM mainframe computer. His article on "CD-ROM" in IEEE Proceedings journal in the 1980s was one of the first articles explaining how CD-ROM worked when CD-ROMs became popular. He was a co-author of the storage technology article in early versions of a computer encyclopedia book published by McGraw-Hill.

Cyber security and terrorist detection

In recent years, he led a multidisciplinary research team in developing new efficient and effective techniques in identifying terrorists and malicious cyber transactions. At CMU, he is active in the R&D activities of CERT Coordination Center and Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

Big Data, Web Services, Blockchain & Internet of Things (IoT)

He is active in research and lecturing on Big Data and emerging technologies. He was a keynote speaker and a keynote panelist on Big Data at IEEE Conferences. He was the 2014 program chair, the 2015–16 conference chair, and 2017 honorary chair of the IEEE BigData Congresses. He is the chair of 2018 IEEE ICWS Conference and the chair of Blockchain Panel. He is the general chair of 2019 IEEE Service Congress, Milan, Italy.


Peter P. Chen published many books, papers and articles. Books, a selection:

Articles (a selection)

Related Research Articles

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Entity–relationship model describes inter-related things of interest in a specific domain of knowledge;composed of entity types (which classify the things of interest) and specifies relationships that can exist between instances of those entity types

An entity–relationship model describes interrelated things of interest in a specific domain of knowledge. A basic ER model is composed of entity types and specifies relationships that can exist between entities.

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  1. Dr. Peter Chen home page Section Education & Experience.(Retrieved 1 October 2008
  2. 1 2 Chen, Peter Pin-Shan (March 1976). "The Entity–Relationship Model Toward A Unified View of Data". ACM Transactions on Database Systems . 1 (1): 9–36. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1145/320434.320440.
  3. See Great Papers in Computer Science
  4. Laplante, P., ed. Great Papers in Computer Science. West Publishing Co. 1996. ISBN   0-314-06365-X
  5. Software Pioneers: Contributions to Software Engineering. Broy M. and Denert, E. (eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Lecturing Notes in Computer Sciences, June 2002.
  6. Dr. Peter Chen home page Section Honors & Professional Activities. Retrieved 1 October 2008
  7. 1 2 3 ER/Conceptual Modeling Main Website
  8. Dr. Peter Pin-Shan Chen at Louisiana State University Received Outstanding Research Award from Pan Wen-Yuan Foundation Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine . 2004.08.18.
  9. The Service Society
  10. IEEE BigData2015 Congress
  11. A. P. G. Brown, Modelling a Real-World System and Designing a Schema to Represent It, in Data Base Description, ed Douque and Nijssen, North-Holland, 1975, ISBN   0-7204-2833-5
  12. 1 2 3 Home page of Dr. Peter Chen at Louisiana State University. Retrieved 1 October 2008.