Torsten Grust


Universität Tübingen, WSI
Lehrstuhl für Datenbanksysteme
Sand 13
72076 Tübingen
Room B318

+49 7071 29-78952
+49 7071 29-5958

Torsten Grust is a professor of Computer Science at Universität Tübingen, Germany, where he leads the Database Systems research group since 2008. Prior to his move to Tübingen, Torsten has been a professor of Database Systems at TU München and TU Clausthal. Torsten received his Diploma (M.Sc.) in Computer Science in 1994 and his PhD degree in 1999 from Universität Konstanz. In 2000, Torsten was a visiting scientist with the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratories, San Jose, CA, USA.

Torsten performs research into the design, compilation, optimization, and evaluation of a variety of database languages. In this work, he often walks the fine line between database query and programming language technology. His group develops techniques that turn relational database systems into scalable processors also for non-relational query and programming languages. Torsten is at his happiest whenever he finds new evidence that database and programming language research can mutually benefit each other. (Consequently, he is a long-time member of ACM SIGMOD as well as SIGPLAN. ;-)

Upcoming and Recent Activities

  • February 2022: We have won the CS department’s Teaching Award for the 2021/22 semester. Delighted to see our efforts in the lecture hall being recognized. First and foremost: Thank you, students!
  • January 2022: I have been elected as one of the 21 members of the Board of Trustees of the VLDB Endowment, starting a six-year term (until 2027).
  • June 2021: Together with Christian Duta, I have won the ACM SIGMOD 2021 Reproducibility Award for our paper Functional-Style SQL UDFs With a Capital ‘F’.
  • 2020-21: Together with Yuanyuan Tian and Guoliang Li, I co-chaired the VLDB 2021 Demonstration Track whose demos were presented at VLDB 2021 in Copenhagen.
  • September 2019: I have won the Dyalog 2019 APL Program Solving Competition (in the professionals category). The fun to keystroke ratio of APL is hard to beat. Thinking in APL — thus thinking in arrays and matrices — may improve your SQL skills. It happened to me. Give it a try!
  • July 2019: I have served as SIGMOD 2019 Publicity and Social Media Co-Chair and greatly enjoyed tweeting as @SIGMOD2019.
  • March 2019: With Felix Naumann, I co-chaired the PC for the German-speaking (but international) database conference BTW 2019, held in Rostock, March 2019.
  • September 2016: Co-Chair VLDB 2016 PhD Workshop. New Dehli, India, September 9, 2016 (jointly with Andy Pavlo, Kamal Karlapalem). The electronic proceedings of this workshop are available as Volume 1671 of the CEUR Workshop Proceedings.
  • April 2016—March 2018: Guest Editor Programming Languages for Big Data, a Special Issue of the Journal of Functional Programming
  • December 2014: Co-Organizer Dagstuhl Seminar 14511 on “Programming Languages for Big Data (PlanBig)”, December 14-19, 2014 (jointly with James Cheney, Dimitrios Vytiniotis)
  • March 2014–November 2017: Member of the EDBT Executive Board
  • April 2014–September 2016: Dean of Studies of the Department of Computer Science
  • September 2012: Co-Chair XLDI 2012 — International Workshop on Cross-Model Language Design and Implementation. Collocated with ICFP 2012, September 9, 2012.

Membership in Boards, Program Committees

Short Biography

  • since 09/08: Full Professor (Database Systems), U Tübingen
  • 06/05–08/08: Professor (Database Systems), TU München
  • 02/05–05/05: Professor (Database and Information Systems), TU Clausthal
  • 04/04–01/05: Interim head of the Database and Information Systems group, TU Clausthal
  • 02/04: Habilitation in Computer Science, Tree-Aware Relational Database Systems, U Konstanz
  • 11/00–03/04: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, U Konstanz
  • 05/00–11/00: Visiting Scientist, IBM DB2 Everyplace Development, IBM Silicon Valley Labs, San Jose, CA, USA
  • 10/99: Promotion (PhD) in Computer Science, Comprehending Queries, U Konstanz
  • 10/94–04/00: Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Computer and Information Science, U Konstanz
  • 10/89–10/94: Student of Computer Science, TU Clausthal
  • Private: I am married to Christina Lorenz and proud father of Jana and Erik (born 10/02 and 11/05).

Recent Publications

Data Provenance for Recursive SQL Queries

Tobias MüllerTorsten GrustBenjamin Dietrich

Proceedings of 14th International Workshop on Theory and Practice of Provenance (TaPP 2022), collocated with SIGMOD 2022, Philadelphia, PA, USA, June 2022.

Snakes on a Plan — Compiling Python Functions into Plain SQL Queries

Denis HirnTorsten GrustTim Fischer

Proceedings of the 41st ACM SIGMOD Int’l Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD 2022), Philadelphia, PA, USA, June 2022.

Functional Programming on Top of SQL Engines

Tobias Burghardt • Denis HirnTorsten Grust

Proceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages (PADL 2022), Philadelphia, PA, USA, January 2022.


Denis HirnTorsten Grust

Proceedings of the 40th ACM SIGMOD Int’l Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD 2021), Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, June 2021.

From Blackboard to Green Screen — Delivering a Semester of In-Depth Database Lectures via YouTube

Torsten Grust

Datenbank Spektrum, December 2020. Published by Springer, DOI 10.1007/s13222-020-00362-8.

Book Review: "Algorithm Design with Haskell", by Richard Bird and Jeremy Gibbons

Torsten Grust

Journal of Functional Programming (JFP), 30(e29), September 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press, DOI 10.1017/S0956796820000258.

Functional-Style SQL UDFs With a Capital 'F'

Torsten GrustChristian Duta

Proceedings of the 39th ACM SIGMOD Int’l Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD 2020), Portland, Oregon, USA, June 2020. Winner of the ACM SIGMOD 2021 Reproducibility Award.

PL/SQL Without the PL

Denis HirnTorsten Grust

Proceedings of the 39th ACM SIGMOD Int’l Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD 2020), Portland, Oregon, USA, June 2020.

Compiling PL/SQL Away

Denis HirnTorsten GrustChristian Duta

Proceedings of the 10th Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR 2020), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 2020.

PgCuckoo — Laying Plan Eggs Into PostgreSQL's Nest

Denis HirnTorsten Grust

Proceedings of the 38th ACM SIGMOD Int’l Conference on the Management of Data (SIGMOD 2019), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2019.

More Publications