Google news and updates especially for students
Intern Spotlights - Jeanie Pearson
September 30, 2015
Jeanie is a Portland, OR, native, who’s currently a sophomore studying computer science at MIT. She’s been programming since her freshman year of high school, and has loved it ever since. She’s also involved in the Society of Women Engineers in both the MIT chapter and the regional leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, as well as doing outreach projects to introduce girls to STEM fields.
What inspired you to apply to this internship? What about Google made you want to be an intern here?
Last summer, I participated in the
Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI).
I had always been interested in computer science at Google from hearing about all of the cool projects happening here, but after attending CSSI, I was sold. For three weeks, I learned about coding from Google engineers. I got to spend all of my time in the Google Cambridge office, and interact with interns and full-time employees. Everyone that I talked to was really friendly and passionate about what they were doing at Google, which made me really excited about the prospect of working here!
What was your path to Google like?
Before Google, I had two other internships. I worked at Rockwell Collins after my junior year of high school. I worked on Heads-Up Displays for pilots. This internship was a combination of engineering and CS, and it helped me decide that computer science was what I wanted to focus on, despite my interests in engineering. The summer after my senior year, I interned at Intel. I also attended CSSI.
What team are you on? What stands out to you about your co-workers?
I’m on the Search Actions team. We work on the Google Voice Search project. Anytime you say something like “OK Google, make a call” or “OK Google, play music,” you’re using a search action. All of my coworkers are extremely friendly and approachable! It is a fun and inviting team to work with. There are weekly team lunches, and we’re starting an “Actions Olympiad” where every two weeks, subsets of the team face off in a friendly competition. Aside from the fun, everyone is great about answering questions. You can tell that they all really care about the product and each of the team members.
Can you give us a high-level overview of your project? What part of the project do you find most interesting and why?
My project is creating a tool to help developers on teams outside of Search Actions easily create actions without having to know in depth about how our code works. Instead, they just have to specify the things that are unique to their action. Since I’m an Engineering Practicum intern, my podmate and I are working on this together. I’m more interested in backend, and my podmate is more interested in frontend, so we were able to split the project so that we both got parts that we enjoy doing! I’m happy about my half because I get to work directly with the Actions team’s code and gain a deeper understanding of how it works.
What’s your typical day like?
In a typical day, I come in to work around 9 and grab breakfast. I start working at my desk, which is right across from my podmate’s. I’ll talk with my hosts and other co-workers who are helping with my project. Around noon, I’ll grab lunch at one of the many (42!) cafes. (I have a goal of eating at all of the cafes this summer). I’ll eat with other interns or with my team. After lunch, I’ll probably have a meeting with my whole team, or a 1:1 with one of my hosts or my mentor. At the end of the workday, I usually take a dance class on Google campus or at a nearby studio. One of my hosts teaches a jazz class that I take every Wednesday, and she sometimes attends other classes with me! After dance, I’ll grab dinner and head home.
Has there been anything that has surprised you about working at Google?
I was surprised by how many different things you can get done on campus! Last summer, I got a small taste of that at the Cambridge office, but at the Mountain View office, you can really do almost everything here. I especially love all of the fitness options -there is a yoga class happening here 24/7. You can really tell that Google cares about their employees and values a strong work-life balance.
You work in the Mountain View office. Is there a particular place or room on campus that you really like?
I really like the ball pit! I’ve had a couple of fun times splashing around in it during my lunch breaks.
What’s something you’ve accomplished during your internship that you’re most proud of? Or something you’re looking forward to working on?
I’m looking forward to seeing my tool being used by real developers! The first iteration is very close to complete, and I’m excited to see how it is received.
Do you have any words of advice to aspiring Google interns?
I think the most important thing is to have confidence! Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you think that others are smarter or more experienced than you. This can prevent you from taking the opportunities that come to you, because you may assume that you’ll fail. You don’t have to be the smartest person to be successful, and confidence will definitely help. You should go after every opportunity that you have because even if all of them aren’t successful, just having the experience is a success in and of itself.
What does “being Googley” mean to you?
Being Googley means always doing the right thing. This goes hand-in-hand with the “don’t be evil” motto.
Posted by Ariana Palombo, Online Hiring & Insights Team
Getting to Know a Ph.D.
September 28, 2015
At Google, there are many opportunities for Ph.D. students to gain industry experience. Check out the story of
, a former
Google European Doctoral Fellowship
recipient, who interned on three different teams at Google, working on impactful projects across
Google+, AdWords and different engineering and research teams
Alessandro, tell us about yourself and your Ph.D. topic.
I come from Italy where I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Ph.D. School of the Department of Computer Science at Sapienza University of Rome. The focus of my Ph.D. thesis and my main research interest is graph mining -- in particular the study of algorithmic problems arising when analysing large-scale graphs. Graphs, or networks, are increasingly becoming the lingua franca of data mining (and Big Data), as they can be used to represent and analyse arbitrary relationships between arbitrary entities (including social networks, mobile networks and the Web, for instance).
The focus of my thesis was designing and evaluating efficient algorithms for extracting meaningful information from very large-scale graphs (with billions of nodes and edges), in which data might dynamically evolve at high speed. In particular, I have been interested in the problems of graph clustering, similarity rankings and in the study of information diffusion on social networks. All of these problems have important practical applications ranging from recommendation system design to social network security as well as a theoretical interest for the understanding of social behaviour. In this context, my aim was to design methods that are both practical and able to provide theoretical guarantees on their correctness.
Why did you apply for an internship at Google and how supportive was your Ph.D. advisor?
Before my internship at Google, my experience was mostly in academia. I was very curious about the challenges that a company with such amounts of data deals with every day. Moreover, I was extremely interested in experiencing the stimulating environment and culture at Google. I was advised by professor Alessandro Panconesi who was very supportive and encouraged me to apply for an internship at Google.
You interned three times at Google.
What projects were you focused on?
Each of the three times I interned, I had the opportunity to work on a distinct research problem with different research groups.
During my most recent internship I joined the Google+ group in the Mountain View, California headquarters working with Sunita Verma. We worked on the problem of friend suggestion, which deals with the challenging issue of suggesting to a given user the people he/she may be interested in adding as a friend. This is an important problem for online social networks, as receiving good friend suggestions significantly improves the user experience.
In one of my previous internships, I joined the AdWords team in New York City working with Jon Feldman where I worked on the problem of automatically identifying, for any given advertiser, who their main competitors in the AdWords system are.
During my first internship in Mountain View working with Alon Altman I worked on defining algorithms for detecting potential attacks in the Google+ network.
Could you share more details about the outcomes of your collaboration with teams at Google?
During all my internships I had the opportunity to closely collaborate with researchers in other teams at Google, in particular with the Graph Mining team in Google Research NY led by Vahab Mirrokni, who is also my Google Doctoral Fellowship mentor. A productive collaboration has continued even after the end of my internships. This joint collaboration with researchers at Google and at Sapienza University has also led to a publication awarded with the best paper award at the 2015 ACK SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD).
While the three problems addressed in my internships have very different applications and independent interest, perhaps surprisingly, they can all be tackled by using related graph mining techniques. Both Google+ and AdWords datasets can, in fact, be modeled as a very large scale graph (or network).
In this context, one is interested in designing algorithms that can extract the information needed efficiently (the friends of a user, the competitors of a company, the potential spam users, etc.) while working at Google scale. In all of my internships I also had the opportunity to implement and test these algorithms in the powerful MapReduce infrastructure available at Google on extremely large datasets with billions of entities.
The approach at Google in evaluating the results of projects is very academic in the sense that rigorous empirical evaluations are conducted to show that the approach proposed actually improves over the state-of-the-art. I was also able to share some results of my work with the public through academic publications.
Did you publish at Google during your internship?
Yes, we successfully published a paper at the 2014 International World Wide Web Conference (WWW) as a result of my internship on the AdWords team in NYC. Moreover, we are currently working on a paper submission based on research done during my last summer internship. We also submitted two patents applications for the algorithms developed during my first two internships.
How closely connected was the work you did during your internships to your Ph.D. topic?
My Ph.D. topic, graph mining, is closely connected with all three of my internships at Google. During my Ph.D. studies, I improved my understanding of several topics in large-scale graph mining, which turned out to be very relevant for addressing important issues at Google, as evidenced by the internships projects I have completed. Among the various techniques that I learned during my Ph.D., graph clustering algorithms and random walks methods have been central to my internships, giving me the chance to use them in concrete scenarios at Google. Moreover, the fact that the paper published during my internship at Google is also part of my Ph.D. dissertation shows the relevance of such research projects to my Ph.D. studies.
What impact has this internship experience had on your Ph.D.?
Besides contributing to my Ph.D. thesis with a publication, the most important impact are the relationships I built with Google researchers. Even after the end of my Ph.D., I am still in close collaboration with various researchers at Google to complete publications stemming from my internships and other research projects. In addition, programming in a professional environment at Google has definitely improved my software engineering skills.
Has this internship experience impacted the way you think about your future career?
Thanks to these internships, I have a clearer understanding of research outside of academia and of software engineering. Before joining Google, I had only experienced research at university and my career focus was limited to academic research. Now I know that conducting research at a company in the industry can be a very relevant career path to consider after obtaining a Ph.D.
Now that you just graduated, what’s next?
I moved to the US to start a postdoc position at Brown University with supervisor Professor Eli Upfal. Our team is currently working in research areas closely related to my Ph.D. studies. I am focusing on algorithmic problems and machine learning methods in the analysis of large-scale datasets with potential applications ranging from social networks to computational biology.
Looking back on your experiences now, why should a Ph.D. student apply for an internship at Google? Do you have any advice to offer?
An internship at Google provides a great opportunity to apply your research skills to very challenging and concrete problems that can be tackled only with the scale of data and resources available at Google. Getting hands-on industry experience with a Google internship can be an inspiration for future academic research, as one gets a glimpse into which research problems are more likely to have a strong impact in practice. Furthermore, taking advantage of all the opportunities offered during a Google internship can boost your Ph.D. studies, by leading to new publications in top conferences. More importantly the internship provides valuable connections with high profile researchers and engineers working at Google, which can have a long-lasting positive impact on one’s career -- regardless of whether you pursue a career in the industry or in academia.
My suggestion is just to apply! Internships are a great way to experience research from a different and fascinating perspective.
Posted by Ariana Palombo, Online Hiring & Insights Team
Supporting our young scientists through the Google Science Fair
September 22, 2015
Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American and Chief Judge of the Google Science Fair
(Cross-posted on the
Official Google blog
Mariette DiChristina is the Editor in Chief and senior vice president of
—the first woman to hold the role in the magazine's 170-year history. She has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011 and served as president of the National Association of Science Writers in 2009 and 2010. She joins us here today to share her perspective on the Google Science Fair, which is in its fifth edition this year.
This marks my fifth year with the
Google Science Fair
. In October 2010, when I had my first conversations with my friends at Google about their idea to create a global online science fair that any kid 13–18 could participate in, I thought it sounded pretty cool. But I couldn’t then imagine just how inspiring and powerful such a competition would turn out to be in reality.
At the time, I hadn’t even been editor in chief of
for a year, but I had real ambitions to try to do something to make a difference in educating our young people about science. You see, I believe that science is the engine of human prosperity—it’s the way we grapple with some of the world’s most challenging problems, from cures for diseases to living sustainably in a finite world. So I’ve always seen the idea of fostering evidence-based thinking in our next generation of global citizens as vital.
Now, five years later and working with partners LEGO Education,
and Virgin Galactic, the Google Science Fair has an impressive track record of enabling our world’s young scientists to shine. Over the years, they’ve tackled serious issues, like world hunger and the energy crisis. Their projects have worked on how to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. They’ve engineered flashlights powered by their hands and plastics made of banana peels. And to date, the fair has provided almost $1 million in scholarships, and sent four grand prize winners on trips around the world to further their scientific passions.
Tonight we added some new winners to that list as we recognized and celebrated the 2015 top 20 finalist projects and the bright young scientists behind them:
The Grand Prize went to
for creating a novel way to detect Ebola.
won the Google Technologist Award for helping improve learning through auto-generated study questions.
Explorer Award went to
for her idea to use solar-powered silver to create clean drinking water.
’s project focused on improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and won him the
's automated search for gravitationally lensed quasars earned him the Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award.
took home The LEGO Education Builder Award for his unique twist on effectively transporting vaccines.
If you didn’t get to tune in, you can still
watch the Awards Show live stream
and check out the
complete list of impressive finalists and winners
, including our first ever Inspiring Educator,
from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In all of these finalists and the thousands of submissions from students in 100+ countries, we see something common. These students are inventive, thoughtful, and determined to help make the world a better place. All they need is a chance and a platform to do so. And, unlike some of us adults, they are ready to try things that other people think are “impossible.” I find them inspiring.
It’s imperative for us to support and encourage our young people to explore and challenge the world around them through scientific discovery. So we’re especially glad that Ahmed Mohamed—the 14-year-old clock maker from Texas—took us up on
to attend this year’s event. Curious young scientists, inventors and builders like him should be encouraged and empowered.
The past decades have brought tremendous innovations and challenges, and none of us knows what the future of scientific discovery holds. But I can tell you one thing: it’s going to be better thanks to these kids. They will be part of building a brighter future for us all—and as they do, those of us at
, Google, LEGO Education,
and Virgin Galactic will be cheering them on.
start thinking of your ideas for next year
! We can’t wait to see what you’ll try next.
2016 US and Canada scholarship opportunities for computer science students
September 21, 2015
We are excited to announce that applications are now open for 2016 Google scholarships. The application deadlines are in November and December, but don’t wait to get started on your application!
At Google, we believe information should be universally accessible. Our education and scholarship programs aim to inspire and help students become future leaders in computing and technology by breaking down the barriers that prevent them from entering these fields. We are now accepting applications from current university students, undergraduate and graduate, for the following scholarship programs:
Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
for women in technology.
Generation Google Scholarship
for students from underrepresented backgrounds in computer science.
Google Lime Scholarship
for students with disabilities.
Google Student Veterans of America (SVA) Scholarship
for students who are serving or have served in the military.
The Generation Google Scholarship for current high school seniors will open in early 2016.
Scholarship recipients will receive $10,000 USD or $5,000 CAD for the 2016-17 academic year. Scholars will be invited to the annual Google Scholars' Retreat in Mountain View, CA next summer. At the retreat, scholars will participate in networking and development sessions, including sessions on how to lead outreach in their communities.
2015 scholarship recipients participating in a code retreat at the annual Google Scholars' Retreat.
For more information on all scholarship programs, please visit the
Google Scholarships site
Posted by Sarah Safir, Tech Student Development Programs
Google Docs and Classroom: your school year sidekicks
September 2, 2015
School’s in! As you settle into your classes and start to juggle soccer practice, club meetings and homework, we’re here to help. We’ve been spending the summer “break” creating new tools to help you save time, collaborate with classmates and create your best work—all for free.
Schoolwork, minus the work
Writing papers is now a lot easier with the
Docs for Android
. You can search Google without leaving Docs, and once you find the quotes, facts or images you’re looking for, you can add them to your document with just a couple taps. That means less time switching between apps, and more time perfecting your thesis statement.
, you can record ideas or even compose an entire essay without touching your keyboard. To get started, activate Voice typing in the Tools menu when you're using
in Chrome. Then, when you’re on the go, just tap the microphone button on your phone’s keyboard and speak your mind. Voice typing is available in more than 40 languages, so we can help with your French homework, too. Voilà!
Do more, together
We’ve made it easier for you to tell what was added or deleted in
—and who made the changes. Now when you’ve left a document and you come back to it later, you can just click “
See new changes
” to pick up right where your classmates left off.
Forms helps you get a lot of information easily and in one place—so when you want to vote on your class field trip or collect T-shirt sizes for your team, you don’t have to sort through dozens of emails. With the new Forms, you can survey with style—choose one of the colorful new themes or customize your form with your own photo or logo, and we’ll choose the right color palette to match. Easily insert images, GIFs or videos and pick from a
selection of question formats
. Then send out your survey and watch as the responses roll in!
Your best work, your best you
Creating presentations, crafting newsletters and managing your team’s budget is hard enough without having to worry about making everything look good. With the new collection of
templates in Docs
, you can focus on your content while we make sure it gets the expert polish it deserves. Choose from a wide variety of reports, portfolios, resumes and other pre-made
designed to make your work that much better, and your life that much easier.
Explore in Sheets
, you can now spend less time trying to decipher your data, and more time making a point.
creates charts and insights automatically, so you can visualize trends and understand your data in seconds on the web or on your
. It’s like having an expert analyst right by your side.
Mission control, for teachers and students
A year ago, we launched
to save teachers and students time and make it easier to keep classwork organized. Today we’re launching a
Share to Classroom Chrome extension
to make it easy for teachers to share a website with the entire class at the same time—no matter what kind of laptop students have. Now the whole class can head to a web page together, without losing precious minutes and focus to typos.
Rock this school year with Google Docs and Classroom. Your first assignment? Try these new features, which are rolling out today.
Posted by Ritcha Ranjan, Product 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