Google news and updates especially for students
Young Innovators @ Google - Greg Schechter
April 27, 2011
Introduction: We recently launched
Young Innovators @ Google
, a new blog series highlighting the great work of Googlers who, not too long ago, were students like you. In their short careers, these engineers and product managers have had an impact on Google and our products. For our second post, we sat down for a few questions with Greg Schechter, a Web Developer at YouTube.
Tell us about your path to Google and what your current role is.
I’m a fearless web warrior, fighting for browser and website progress. While training at the
University of Illinois
in Urbana-Champaign, I published articles with the
Opera Web Standards Curriculum
. Subsequently, I went on to battle alongside many different web companies, including Amazon, Yahoo!, and Google. I arrived at Google back in 2008 as an intern at YouTube. After college, I worked for a few other companies, but eventually returned to YouTube as a Web Developer.
My current alliance is with
, where I spearhead the movement for
capabilities as a front end developer. YouTube understands what it means to be a web developer and gave me a role that fits what I love to work on. Great people, sweet projects and opportunities to drive the web forward creates an environment that is hard for other companies to match.
What was your first project at YouTube, and how has your role evolved since then? What do you see yourself doing next?
The first project I jumped on at YouTube was
YouTube Live Streaming
. I was the original web developer for the project and built out most of the front end components of the page. It took only about a month for the first significant features to go live, and in about four months, I felt I was really innovating and pushing features I was passionate about. One of the first important features I pushed live was developing a monetizable experience for
, our lightweight version of our watch page. At this time, I’m no longer on Live Streaming, but instead have become the technical lead for two big features at YouTube—the
iframe embed api
. The technical lead is basically the lead developer who makes the major technical decisions.
I absolutely love being at YouTube. I really feel that I have the power and encouragement to work on what I’m passionate about. I hope to become more of a spokesperson and tech evangelist of HTML5 and YouTube. I’m speaking at a few conferences about the work we are doing at YouTube, and I hope I can continue to innovate and teach others how to do the same.
In what ways have you been able to innovate at YouTube? What makes working at YouTube unique?
I generally take initiative and innovate on projects I’m passionate about, which makes YouTube perfect for me. I never feel that there are any walls stopping me from developing, and I’m given the freedom to innovate on my own terms. I’m excited to be spearheading the movement for using HTML5 for video distribution.
YouTube offers so many resources that allow you to work on products that directly benefit users. Even though I’ve only been at YouTube a short time, I’ve had the opportunity to share my findings in HTML5 at conferences around the world (
). I really like being a speaker and evangelizing for the company, and I’m fortunate to have had many opportunities to travel and work with others.
Anything else you’d like to share?
On a lighter note, my favorite
I’ve added is when you are using the
, right click on the player and click “save video as”.
Posted by Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator
Students announced for 2011 Google Summer of Code
April 26, 2011
Cross-posted from the
Open Source at Google
We have announced the
that will be participating in this year’s
Google Summer of Code
program. Students will now start the
community bonding period
where they will get to know their mentors and prepare for the program by reading documentation, hanging out in the IRC channel and familiarizing themselves with their new community before beginning their actual coding at the end of May.
If you are interested in learning more about the
that the students will be working with during the 2011
Google Summer of Code
, please visit the
Congratulations to our accepted students! We look forward to an exciting and productive summer of coding.
By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs Office
Programs and Competitions
Celebrating Earth Day
April 22, 2011
[Cross-posted on the
Official Google Blog
Today, we’re celebrating Earth Day with an animated, interactive
on our homepage and events at Google offices around the world. At our headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., we’re holding an environmental fair for Googlers, complete with speakers and contests to strengthen Googlers’ green acumen, and a cookout using—what else—
parabolic solar cookers
(don’t worry, we’ll compost the leftovers).
Our campus gardens in Mountain View
We’ve been carbon neutral since 2007 and—Earth Day or not—we’re always asking ourselves what we can do to make the world greener today than it was yesterday. This week, we launched a
with many of the questions we’ve been asking over the years that have inspired our environmental initiatives. What can we do to
make renewable energy cheaper than coal
? How can we
run a data center using 50 percent less energy
? And what does it take to green our energy supply?
It’s questions like these that led us to install solar panels on our Mountain View campus in 2007—at the time, the largest corporate solar installation in the U.S. They’re also what made us decide to donate to Googlers’ favorite charities based on how often they self-power their commute, whether
or by pogo stick. We hope the
helps you start asking bold questions that lead to innovative solutions to make the world a greener place.
In addition to our new site, we’ve had a busy few weeks continuing our green streak. We doubled down on greening our energy supply with our
second power purchase agreement
(PPA) in less than a year and made several new investments: at a solar photovoltaic plant in
(our first in Europe), and others in the largest
in the world, bringing our total invested in clean energy to more than $350 million. While the investments won’t supply our operations with energy, we believe they make business sense and will spur development and deployment of compelling clean energy technologies.
This Earth Day, we’ll continue to ask ourselves what else we can do to bring us closer to true sustainability. We hope that you, and companies across the world, will be doing the same.
Posted by Bill Weihl, Green Enegy Czar
Anita Borg Scholar inspires young women in computer science
April 21, 2011
Update: We'd like to remind you that the deadline to submit an application for this year's
Computer Science Summer Institute
is TODAY, April 22nd. Also, stay tuned for an announcement of this year's Anita Borg Scholars in the next few weeks!
Introduction: Natasha Nesiba is a freshmen at New Mexico State University studying computer science. In 2010 Natasha received the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship and shortly after was selected to receive the largest tuition scholarship her university offers. Read on to learn what she chose to do next and how it has impacted young women studying computer science.
Tell us about yourself. Where do you attend school? What sort of activities are you involved in?
I am a freshman studying computer science at
New Mexico State University
, and I am an undergraduate research assistant for a middle school and high school outreach program called
Young Women in Computing
(YWiC). The goal of the program is to expose young girls to computational thinking and spark their interest in technology. Through YWiC, I am very involved in creating interactive and engaging CS curriculum for middle and high school students, organizing and conducting outreach events and initiatives, compiling and presenting research at national conferences, and mentoring younger girls. I am a very driven and focused individual, but when I am not working, programming, or doing other homework, I am playing intramural softball or spending time with my three younger sisters.
What made you decide to study CS?
In the summer of 2008 I was selected to participate in YWiC’s 5-week
computer science summer camp
, where I was first introduced to programming and basic algorithmic thinking through easy-to-use software. After that summer I was pretty much hooked.
What’s most challenging about studying computer science?
One challenging element would be coming up with the most efficient algorithm to solve a problem. At the same time, it is one of my favorite aspects of the field because it is where creativity comes into play.
How was your experience attending the
Computer Science Summer Institute
at the Google Headquarters last year?
In short, fabulous! I loved getting to meet and work with other students from all over the country who had very different backgrounds. We all came together to do the same thing: to learn more about what CS is all about while getting a unique glimpse into the life of a Googler at the Googleplex. The interesting and informative technical talks by Googlers, cheerful atmosphere of the Googleplex, classroom programming sessions, and other fun activities made it an unforgettable experience!
Tasha and the CSSI class of 2010
Why did you apply to the
Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
In 2009, as a senior in high school, I attended the
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
, a conference presented by the
Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology
. It was very inspiring to learn about the courage and fearlessness that women like
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
Dr. Anita Borg
showed as they paved the way for other women in technology. I found out about the scholarship through YWiC in spring 2010, and was encouraged to apply. When I reviewed the criteria, I was excited to discover that I fit each aspect of the scholarship. Not only was I planning to enroll full-time and major in CS at my university, but I think most importantly, I felt passionate about computer science, after learning from stories about Dr. Anita Borg and other prominent and successful women that it is possible to succeed as a woman in CS.
Tasha at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
How did you feel when you heard that you won the scholarship?
I was ecstatic and a bit in disbelief, which could have partly been attributed to the fact that I was notified on April Fool’s Day! I felt so lucky and blessed to be one of the few graduating high school seniors to receive this very prestigious award. It was also one of the greatest feelings to know that I could go into my freshman year with less of the financial burden to worry about.
Tell us about what you did with the scholarship money after you found out that you received a scholarship from your university.
Along with the Anita Borg Scholarship, I had applied for and received the
NMSU President’s Associates Scholarship
, my university’s biggest scholarship. This scholarship was to cover all tuition and fees for eight semesters during my undergraduate degree. Since I had my tuition covered I wanted to give back to the program and help others succeed in CS. I approached the department head to discuss the Anita Borg Scholarship, because I knew that it deserved something special, and that it needed to be handled with great forethought.
I believe the opportunity to attend college is a privilege, and to be able to give that opportunity to other students is so gratifying. My solution was to take the money from the Anita Borg Scholarship and endow a scholarship in the CS department at my university, and so the Mark Nesiba Memorial Scholarship for Women in Computing was created in December 2010. The scholarship, named after my late father, will be awarded to Hispanic female undergraduate students majoring in CS.
What do you hope to do with CS in the future?
I think what I like most about CS is that the possibilities are endless, and after having wonderful support and experiences, I hope to be able to work at a software company like Google. Overall though, in the future, I want to be able to use CS to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
What advice would you give to women who are considering studying computer science?
I would say go for it, nothing is impossible! For those students in high school, I would say to take as many math classes as possible. Practice it, get comfortable with it, and get good at it. Even though it is not the easiest field, dedication, drive, and desire can go a long way. One of my favorite quotes is, “Execute excellence. There is no discrimination against it.”
Posted by Azusa Hanashima, Talent & Outreach Programs
Add detail to your campus with Google Map Maker
April 19, 2011
When a visitor asks you for directions to a building at your university, you can probably help them find any location on campus. Students in over
180 countries and regions
around the world have been able to share this knowledge using
Google Map Maker
, a product that lets you add your local expertise for millions of users to see in Google Maps.
of Google Map Maker for the United States, we’re excited for students in the U.S. to add that expert campus knowledge to the map and create detailed, up-to-date reflections of their universities. You can mark the academic buildings on your campus, trace the shapes of athletic fields, or move your local coffee shop to the right spot.
To give you an idea of exactly what other students (and alumni) have done with Google Map Maker, this detailed map of IIT in Bombay was created entirely through the contributions of the Map Maker community.
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Now students in the United States can add the same level of detail and comprehensiveness. Even if your campus is mapped out already, you can add paths and shortcuts across campus, or update your favorite local businesses near campus. To confirm the accuracy of user contributions, each edit in Map Maker will be reviewed, and if approved, will then appear on Google Maps within minutes.
To check out real-time mapping examples by users around at world, visit
. You can learn more on our
getting started site
, or start mapping now at
Posted by Kaushik Sridharan, Software Engineer
2011 Google Lime Scholars announced
April 14, 2011
Google has partnered with
for the third year in a row to recognize students with disabilities who have not only shown achievement in Computer Science, but have also demonstrated passion, dedication, and leadership within their studies.
We’d like to congratulate this year’s recipients of the
Google Lime Scholarship
Henry DeYoung - Carnegie Mellon University
Shiri Dori-Hacohen - University of California, San Diego
Svetlana Lockwood - Washington State University
Rahul Rajagopalan - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scott Robertson - Penn State University Park
Nicole Torcolini - Stanford University
David Bartle - University Of Victoria
Jan Kasiak - Stony Brook University
Cooper Bills - Cornell University
Google Lime scholars will receive an academic scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year and will be invited to attend the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat held at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California this July.
Find out more about Google’s Scholarship Programs at
The trivia game for the information age
April 12, 2011
Think you’re the sultan of search? The queen of queries? Well, here’s your chance to find out. A Google a Day is a puzzle that can be solved by using various Google searches. The difficulty levels vary, including an occasional question designed to stump seasoned searchers.
Here’s a sample (relatively easy) question:
Puzzle questions will be posted daily on
, and printed weekdays above the New York Times crossword puzzle. We’ll also reveal each puzzle’s answer, along with the search tips, tricks and features used to track it down.
Give it a try. Let us know what you think. And remember... there’s often more than one way to search for an answer, but only one correct answer to find.
A Google A Day
Posted by Benjamin Habbel, Associate Product Marketing Manager for Google Search
just for fun
Meet Caltech basketball star and soon-to-be Googler, Ryan Elmquist
April 11, 2011
Today we’re featuring a Q&A with NCAA athlete and future Googler, Ryan Elmquist. Ryan speaks of his experiences at Caltech, his interest in computer science and why he’s excited to work at Google.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from? How did you end up at Caltech?
I live in California now, but I’m originally from Woodbury, Minnesota. I went to Caltech because I knew it was going to challenge me academically. I was also excited about continuing to play basketball in college. Finally, getting out of Minnesota into sunny southern California certainly didn’t hurt.
What makes Caltech unique?
Caltech has a very small student body compared to other similar colleges. It has a really intimate atmosphere, where most of the students know each other and their professors.
Any fun Caltech stories?
Caltech has several campus wide parties throughout the year. They are all themed and (in true Caltech fashion) built by the students. The themes have ranged from
to the Wild West (complete with a mechanical bull).
Why did you decide to study computer science?
The process of breaking down a complex problem into manageable pieces to solve is really fun. I enjoy the projects that we get to work on in class and the fast turn-around when you work on those projects. It’s not possible to see your results almost immediately in many other fields.
What’s been your favorite CS class or class project?
I took a course on machine learning that involved a project I really enjoyed. We worked on the
, where we were given a bunch of users’ data and their ratings for various movies. Then we had to use that data to predict their ratings on other movies. It was cool to see the techniques we learned in class translate so well to real world applications.
Any advice for students considering computer science?
Don’t be discouraged when your programs don’t work the first time; we all have to debug every once in a while. :)
Tell us about playing basketball at Caltech and your recent press whirlwind.
In the last game of my senior year, we faced a 310 game conference losing streak. While we had won several non-conference games, it had been a while since Caltech had seen success in the conference. With a few seconds left in the game, the score was tied and I was shooting two free throws. Since there was such little time left, these were probably the last shots I’d take in my college basketball career. I made the first free throw, putting us up 46-45, and missed the second. The other team missed a last second desperation shot, and we
. After breaking the losing streak, we received hundreds of emails from fans and alumni, and have been interviewed by news reporters across the country. It’s been pretty wild, but I can’t think of a better way to end my basketball career.
How do you use Google products in your daily life?
I’m a big Gmail user. I use Google Reader to keep up to date on what’s going on in the tech world. Also, having access to Google Maps on my phone has saved me from getting lost while navigating my way through a new city.
What made you want to work at Google?
Since Google has so many users, the scale at which it operates is intriguing. It’s fun to think about all of the users your work can potentially impact.
Any big plans for post-graduation, before Google? When is your Google start date?
I’m graduating from Caltech a term early, so I am going to backpack through Europe with a friend. I’ve never been to Europe before, so I’m really excited. My sister is studying abroad in Germany and will be joining us once we get there. I’m joining Google on June 20th.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t give up! I think breaking a 310 game losing streak has shown that it’s worthwhile to persevere!
Google Earth goes royal
April 8, 2011
For many college students, traveling to England to see the April 29 wedding of Britain’s Prince William to Kate Middleton may be just a little bit out of their price range... but don’t despair! If you’re a huge fan, but can’t attend the actual festivities, we may be able to help make it possible for you to be a virtual guest.
Enhanced Google Earth 3D imagery for the wedding procession route enables you to feel like you’re there! Full of iconic British landmarks, the wedding procession route starts at Westminster Abbey, goes past Parliament and Big Ben, and ends at Buckingham Palace:
If the Royal Wedding doesn't excite you, but modeling does, you might consider contributing to Google Earth’s offerings by using
Google Building Maker
. Find out more about Google Earth at
Also, check out the
official Royal Wedding website
(built and hosted on Google's own computing infrastructure -
Google App Engine
) for updates before the big day.
Posted by Julia Chou, Account Manager
just for fun
Google Student Ambassador Program launched in Ghana & Nigeria
April 8, 2011
Cross-posted from the
Google Africa Blog
As part of our commitment to empower the African academic community with knowledge, infrastructure and tools to help Africa’s future leaders make the most of access to information, we are delighted to have launched the
Google Student Ambassador Program
in Ghana and Nigeria. The program invites students enrolled in African Universities to represent Google on campus and serve a tenure of one academic year.
This year, we selected 20 Ambassadors from 5 universities in Ghana. In mid-March, we invited all new Ambassadors to our Google Ambassador Welcome Day, held in Accra. The day was a mix of fun team building activities and training on various Google products and tools. Our 2011 Ghana Ambassadors were selected from
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
University of Ghana
(Legon & Business School),
University of Cape Coast
Central University College
We also selected 27 Ambassadors from 8 universities in Nigeria. and a similar Welcome Day was held in Lagos to introduce Ambassadors to the program. Our Nigeria Ambassadors were selected from
University of Lagos
University of Benin
University of Nigeria
Obafemi Awolowo University
University of Ibadan
Benson Idahosa University
The new Ambassadors revealed a sound familiarity with technology, an array of vibrant personalities and ready to make significant impact in their respective campuses.
These Student Ambassadors will work closely with Google teams to organise events and help raise awareness among African Students about the opportunities and value of Google and the Internet.
To learn more about the Ambassador and other university programs, visit
Posted by Obum Ekeke, Talent & Outreach Programs, Sub Saharan Africa
Lancement du programme Étudiant Ambassadeur Google au Nigéria et au Ghana
Dans le cadre de notre engagement à apporter des outils, une infrastructure et des
connaissances à la communauté universitaire africaine afin d’aider les futurs leaders de
l’Afrique à tirer le meilleur parti de l’accès à l’information, nous sommes heureux d’annoncer
le lancement de notre
Programme Étudiant Ambassadeur
au Nigéria et au Ghana. Ce
programme invite des étudiants inscrits dans des universités africaines à représenter Google
sur leur campus et les titularise pour une année académique.
Cette année, nous avons sélectionné 20 étudiants dans cinq universités au Ghana. Mi-
mars, nous avons reçu tous les nouveaux Ambassadeurs pour notre Journée d’accueil des
Ambassadeurs Google à Accra, qui propose un ensemble de formations sur les différents
produits et outils Google et des activités de team-building. Nos ambassadeurs ghanéens
2011 sont issus de
l’Université des sciences et des technologies Kwame Nkrumah
l’Université du Ghana
(Legon & Business School), de
l’Université de Cape Coast
Central University College
Nous avons également sélectionné 27 étudiants dans huit universités du Nigéria et
une journée d’accueil similaire a eu lieu à Lagos pour présenter le programme aux
Ambassadeurs. Nos Ambassadeurs nigériens viennent de
l’Université de Lagos
l’Université du Nigéria
l’Obafemi Awolowo University
la Covenant University
la Benson Idahosa University
Les nouveaux Ambassadeurs, qui forment un groupe de personnalités dynamiques, ont
fait preuve d’une excellente connaissance de la technologie et souhaitent avoir un impact
significatif sur leurs campus.
Ils travaillent en étroite collaboration avec les équipes de Google pour organiser des
événements et contribuer à sensibiliser les étudiants africains aux opportunités et à la valeur
de Google et d’Internet.
Pour en savoir plus sur le programme Ambassadeur et d’autres projets universitaires,
Poste par Obum Ekeke, Programmes Talent & Outreach, Afrique sub-saharienne
Ladies and gentlemen, start your editors! Registration now open for Google Code Jam 2011
April 6, 2011
The Official Google Blog
Imagine you’re a ninja, trying to master your deadly grappling hook. Or perhaps you’re a chess grand master, outsmarting your opponent’s every move. Or even a Taoist philosopher, explaining the deep truths of the world to your followers.
It’s situations like these that you’ll face in Google Code Jam, our annual coding contest in which some of the best coders from around the world write programs to solve tough algorithmic problems. We believe that one of the best ways to sharpen your coding skills and stretch them creatively is through healthy competition. The intense experience of confronting a problem, conveying your solution to your computer and seeing the results emerge is a thrill unlike any other.
Today we’re opening registration for
Google Code Jam 2011
. Coding will begin on May 6 with our qualification round, where competitors will have as much as a day to plan their approach to our first few problems. From there, the contest heats up quickly: the remaining contestants will engage in several two-and-a-half hour rounds, wrangling each time with three to four algorithmic problems that range in difficulty from simple to fiendish. For each problem, you’ll wield the programming language of your choice, crafting the perfect algorithm to pit against the gauntlet of our test data. Construct your code flawlessly and you’ll be on to the next problem; solve enough problems, and you’ll make your way to the next round. If you continue to succeed, you might find yourself sitting on a flight to the finals.
The challenge begins in
just over a month
. If you’re a killer coder and you’re ready to compete, sign up on
; while you’re there, make sure to check out the
of the past few years to get a sense of what’s to come, and to hone your skills. If you’re one of the top 25 competitors, we’ll bring you to our Tokyo office to spar against your fellow coders. In the end, only one person will bring home the $10,000 top prize—and the title of Code Jam Champion.
Posted by Bartholomew Furrow, Software Engineer, Google Code Jam
Programs and Competitions
Geographic stars compete in the National Geographic Bee State Championships
April 2, 2011
Cross-posted from the
Google Lat Long Blog
Understanding the world around you is imperative, especially since technology has made it easier and fun to explore places you could, otherwise, only imagine. Being geographically literate helps you interpret the plethora of information that comes your way each day (and that’s no joke)! Without the perspective of knowing where you are or where things happen, you can find it difficult to navigate your way through it all. That is why Google is excited and proud to sponsor the
National Geographic Bee
for the third year, which sparks student interest in geography.
Last fall, over four million students started preparing for the 2011 Bee. Today, the students who have progressed to the state bee level, will compete for one of the coveted 54 spots at the finals in Washington DC in May. It’s not as simple as memorizing a list of capitals or identifying places on a map. These geographic black belts answer tough questions about human, environmental, physical, and regional geography.
The love of geography is a great asset for these students as they continue their education and careers. It might also lead them to a life of exploration and adventure. We asked a few famous explorers why geography is important to them and how they use
. Watch our
below to hear their great insight:
We wish all of the competitors the best of luck!
Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Engineering, Google Earth and Maps
Programs and Competitions
Google SketchUp in Higher Education
April 2, 2011
SketchUp has proven to be a very valuable tool to students and educators. Last year we showcased a few K12
who use SketchUp in interesting ways to do everything from creating models of their town buildings to designing furniture.
We now have a
profiling how SketchUp is used in higher education. Take a look at three areas of study (film, interior design, and architecture) from three schools (Los Angeles Film School, Art Institute of Colorado, and University of Colorado) using SketchUp to advance the skills needed by students to enter the professional world after graduation:
Find out more about Google SketchUp at sketchup.google.com
Posted by Allyson McDuffie, SketchUp for Education Program Manager
Diary of a Summer Intern
Diary of a Summer Intern 2012
Exploring Design at Google
Hangouts On Air
Interns Making an Impact
Life at Google
My Summer at Google
My Summer at Google 2012
Programs and Competitions
Recruiter Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks
Women in Engineering
Interested in opportunities and programs for students? Visit
We love feedback—
send us some email
or comment on a post!
Official Google Blog
Public Policy Blog
Official Android Blog
Lat Long Blog
Ads Developer Blog
Android Developers Blog