Open Source DB Algorithms
Joe Hellerstein and others have built MADlib, an open source library for statistical and machine learning analysis with SQL on multiple machines. Algorithms researchers explore and analyze specific algorithms for specific problems (``point solutions'') and a way to use them in practice is to grab the data from database and write your C++/Java Code. In my mind and others', it has been a much-needed intellectual exercise: how and how much of such specialized analyses can be pushed into SQL. Joe and others have taken the exercise further and have built the bones for doing it. Joe is a persuasive thinker, and here is his blog. If you have spare programming cycles, contribute!