Nurturing and maintaining strong relations with the academic community is a top priority at Google. Today, we’re announcing the 2014 Google PhD Fellowship recipients. These students, recognized for their incredible creativity, knowledge and skills, represent some of the most outstanding graduate researchers in computer science across the globe. We’re excited to support them, and we extend our warmest congratulations.

The Google PhD Fellowship program supports PhD students in computer science or closely related fields and reflects our commitment to building strong relations with the global academic community. Now in its sixth year, the program covers North America, Europe, China, India and Australia. To date we’ve awarded 193 Fellowships in 72 universities across 17 countries.

As we welcome the 2014 PhD Fellows, we hear from two past recipients, Cynthia Liem and Ian Goodfellow. Cynthia studies at the Delft University of Technology, and was awarded a Fellowship in Multimedia. Ian is about to complete his PhD at the Université de Montréal in Québec, and was awarded a Fellowship in Deep Learning. Recently interviewed on the Google Student blog, they expressed their views on how the Fellowship affected their careers.

Cynthia has combined her dual passions of music and computing to pursue a PhD in music information retrieval. She speaks about the fellowship and her links with Google:

“Through the Google European Doctoral Fellowship, I was assigned a Google mentor who works on topics related to my PhD interests. In my case, this was Dr. Douglas Eck in Mountain View, who is part of Google Research and leads a team focusing on music recommendation. Doug has been encouraging me in several of my academic activities, most notably the initiation of the ACM MIRUM Workshop, which managed to successfully bring music retrieval into the spotlight of the prestigious ACM Multimedia conference.”

Ian is about to start as a research scientist on Jeff Dean’s deep learning infrastructure team. He was also an intern at Google, and contributed to the development of a neural network capable of transcribing the address numbers on houses from Google Street View photos. He describes the connection between this intern project and his PhD study supported by the Fellowship:

“The project I worked on during my internship was the basis for a publication at the International Conference on Learning Representations …. my advisor let me include this paper in my PhD thesis since there was a close connection to the subject area.… I can show that some of the work developed early in the thesis has had a real impact.“

We’re proud to have supported Cynthia, Ian, and all the other recipients of the Google PhD Fellowship. We continue to look forward to working with, and learning from, the academic community with great excitement and high expectations.