Friday, February 17, 2006
We've been asked what Google Research is like, and we thought the best way to answer is with a blog. First let me say that we're not like the stereotype of a Research Lab: the place where you hide all the Ph.D.s to keep them away from the engineers who do the real work.
We're different for two reasons.
First, Google Engineering is different: it contains many world class Ph.D. researchers. For example, the top download from the ACM digital library last month was The Google File System, written by Google Ph.D.s who happen to be "engineers" (although in their previous jobs, two were at research labs and one was a grad student). This week's cover story in Nature describes work by Google Earth engineers in partnership with colleagues at CMU and NASA Ames.
Second, Google Research is different: we also have lots of world class Ph.D.s (and a few non-Ph.D.s). Yes, we write papers and prove theorems, but we're all here because we want to discover and build useful things that will change the world.
So who are we? We're experts in machine translation who came here to work with the largest corpus of bilingual and monolingual text ever assembled. We're experts in machine learning algorithms who came to work on one of the world's largest computing clusters. We're researchers in natural language, vision, security, human-computer interaction, and a dozen other fields who came to help a user base of hundreds of millions of people. And we're working side by side with the engineering team -- not in a separate building or site. Some of us are launching projects on google.com this week and wearing pagers, and some of us are working on goals for the year 2020.
So we're different, and we like it that way. We hope you do too, and hope that you'll learn more about us from this blog.