Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder
"Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world." - ABC Person of the Week interview
Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google, graduated from the University of Maryland with high honors in mathematics and computer science in 1993 and, as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, went on to Stanford to further study Computer Science. Early in his graduate studies, he showed interest in the Internet, specifically data-mining and pattern extraction. He also wrote software to ease the conversion of information into HTML format.
In 1995, he began collaborating with Larry Page, another Stanford graduate student, who shared his interest in the challenge of retrieving relevant information from a massive set of data. In 1996, their unique approach to this problem, which utilized a search algorithm to analyze links and establish result rankings, and a network of low cost PC's, proved a potentially successful solution. The search engine they created, BackRub, quickly sparked interest among Stanford students. As they continued to perfect their technology, they presented a more efficient search engine than previously available-Google-in the well-known paper The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, and soon began to attract public interest.
Since its modest start in 1999, Google created relationships, partnerships and agreements with numerous powerful, high-profile companies on a global level including AOL/Netscape, Yahoo, and eBay. Their service has expanded dramatically, with search capability encompassing Usenet archives, images, music, video, maps, and more. Google features now include email and chat, video player, web page creator, calendar, Google Toolbar and Google Desktop. And Google continues to expand and innovate.
In his short executive biography, Brin lists the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that supported him while at Stanford among his top achievements. Like NSF, Brin understands the importance of research in innovation, and sponsors it in part through Google's "20% time" program - all engineers at Google are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time on projects that interest them. It is natural then, that Google fiercely competes to hire the top minds in every area of computer science, from natural language processing to artificial intelligence, ensuring that Google's engineers are as diverse in academic background as they are talented. Similarly, Google has established scholarships in computing and technology, computer science and computer engineering in a commitment to the future of the industry.
Brin has been the recipient of many honors. He was a featured speaker at the World Economic Forum and the Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference. In 2004, he and Page were named Marconi Fellows. PC Magazine has praised Google in the Top 100 Web Sites and Search Engines (1998) and awarded Google the Technical Excellence Award, for Innovation in Web Application Development in 1999. In 2000, Google earned a Webby Award, a People's Voice Award for technical achievement, and in 2001, was awarded Outstanding Search Service, Best Image Search Engine, Best Design, Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine, and Best Search Feature at the Search Engine Watch Awards.