Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin is a computer scientist and co-founder of Google.
Summary

Sergey Brin, born Sergey Mikhailovich Brin on August 21, 1973, is an American computer scientist and business magnate. He is best known as the co-founder of Google, one of the world's leading technology companies. Alongside Larry Page, Brin played a pivotal role in the creation and development of Google, which has since become a global phenomenon.

Brin currently serves as a co-founder, controlling shareholder, and board member of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google. Previously, he held the position of president at Alphabet Inc. until December 2019. With his contributions to Google's success, Brin has achieved significant financial success, and as of May 2023, he is ranked as the 10th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $93.2 billion.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Brin immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of six. He pursued his academic interests in mathematics and computer science, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Brin obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and later enrolled at Stanford University to pursue a PhD in computer science.

During his time at Stanford, Brin crossed paths with Larry Page, and together they embarked on a groundbreaking project to develop a web search engine. The project gained popularity within Stanford, leading Brin and Page to make the decision to start their own company. In 1998, they founded Google in the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who would later become the CEO of YouTube.

Under Brin's leadership and technical expertise, Google revolutionized the way information is accessed and organized on the internet. The company's search engine quickly became the go-to platform for users worldwide, and Google expanded its offerings to include a wide range of products and services, including advertising, cloud computing, mobile technology, and artificial intelligence.

Throughout his career, Brin has been recognized for his significant contributions to the field of technology and entrepreneurship. His innovative ideas and relentless pursuit of excellence have played a pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape and establishing Google as a global powerhouse in the tech industry.

Biography

Sergey Mikhailovich Brin was born in Moscow in a family of Soviet Jews – mathematicians who moved to the United States for permanent residence in 1979 when he was 5 years old. Sergey Brin’s parents are graduates of the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of Moscow State University (1970 and 1971). His father, a former researcher at the Research Institute of Economics under the Gosplan of the USSR (NIEI at the Gosplan of the USSR), PhD in Physics and Mathematics, Mikhail Izrailevich Brin, became a teacher at the University of Maryland (now an honorary professor). His mother, Evgenia Valentinovna Brin, was formerly a researcher at the Institute of Oil and Gas, then a climatologist at NASA and director of the charity organization KhIAS; the author of a number of scientific papers on meteorology. 

In October 2000, Brin declared: 

“I know about the difficulties that my parents had to go through (when we lived in the Soviet Union), and I am deeply grateful to them for taking me to the States”. 

In 2017, Brin added: 

“I arrived in the States at the age of six with my family, a native of the Soviet Union, who at that time was the USA’s most serious rival … The period was difficult – the Cold War, if some people remember it. The question was nuclear destruction. And even then, the United States had the courage to accept me and my family as refugees”. 

In the summer of 1990, a few weeks before Sergei’s 17th birthday, his father led a group of gifted students from a specialized mathematics school, including Sergei, on their two-week exchange trip to the Soviet Union. As Sergei recalls, this trip aroused in him his childhood fears of the authorities, and his first impulse to resist Soviet oppression was the desire to throw pebbles into the police car. 

Early received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer systems from the University of Maryland. He received a scholarship from the National Science Foundation. Sergey’s main research interest was the technology of data collection from unstructured sources, large amounts of scientific data and texts. In 1993, he started a degree at Stanford University in California, where he did his master’s degree and worked on a dissertation. During his studies, he became interested in Internet technologies and search engines, became the author of several studies on the topic of extracting information from large arrays of text and scientific data, and wrote a program for processing scientific texts. 

In 1995, at Stanford University, Sergey met another graduate student in mathematics, Larry Page, with whom he founded Google in 1998. Initially, they fiercely argued when discussing scientific topics, but then they became friends and connected to create a search engine for their campus. Together they wrote the scientific work “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”, which is believed to contain a prototype of their future super-successful idea. The first search engine Brin and Page proved the validity of their idea when they constructed the university search engine google.stanford.edu, having developed its mechanism in accordance with new principles. 

On September 14, 1997, google.com was registered. Attempts were made to develop the idea and turn it into a business. Over time, the project managed to get investments for further development. The joint business grew, made a profit, and even showed enviable stability at the time of the collapse of the dotcoms when hundreds of other companies went bankrupt. In 2004, the names of the founders were named by Forbes magazine on the list of billionaires

In 2003, Brin married 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki. However, they separated in 2013 and finally divorced in 2015. He and Wojcicki have two children together. Brin’s mother, Eugenia, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In 2008, he decided to make a donation to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where his mother is being treated.


Vision

Sergey Brin's vision when he co-founded Google 15 years ago was to create a future where information would come to people without the need for a search query. He envisioned a seamless experience where individuals would receive relevant and timely information as they needed it, without having to actively search for it. This concept represented a shift from the traditional model of seeking information to a more intuitive and personalized approach.

Brin's vision has evolved over the years, and one manifestation of his vision was realized through Google Glass. As Brin mentioned, Google Glass was the first form factor that he believed could deliver on the vision he had set out 15 years prior. Google Glass was a wearable device that provided a hands-free, augmented reality experience, enabling users to access information and interact with their environment in a more intuitive way.

While Google Glass may have been an early attempt to bring Brin's vision to life, the broader goal remains focused on creating technology that seamlessly integrates with people's lives, delivering information and experiences effortlessly. Brin's vision aligns with the concept of ubiquitous computing, where technology becomes seamlessly integrated into the fabric of everyday life, augmenting human capabilities and providing value in a natural and intuitive manner.

As an innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneur, Brin continues to explore new avenues and technologies that can bring his vision closer to reality. His vision extends beyond the search engine and encompasses a future where technology enhances people's lives by proactively delivering information and experiences, empowering individuals in their day-to-day activities and enabling them to access knowledge and insights effortlessly.

Moreover, Brin has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. His vision for sustainability is centred around building a more sustainable future and leveraging technology to address pressing environmental challenges. One of Brin's key initiatives in promoting sustainability is investing in renewable energy. Google, under his leadership, has made significant strides in transitioning to renewable energy sources to power its operations. Brin has advocated for and supported the purchase of renewable energy at a scale that covers the company's energy consumption, making Google one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy globally. This commitment to renewable energy is part of Brin's vision to create a carbon-free future and reduce the carbon footprint of Google's operations

Brin also recognizes the potential of technology in driving sustainability solutions. Google, under his guidance, has focused on developing innovative technologies and products that promote sustainability and resource efficiency.


Recognition and Awards
In November 2009, Forbes named Brin and Page the fifth most powerful people in the world. Earlier that same year, in February, Brin was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, which is "among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer ... [and] honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice...". He was selected specifically, "for leadership in development of rapid indexing and retrieval of relevant information from the World Wide Web". In their "Profiles" of Fellows, the National Science Foundation included a number of earlier awards: he was a featured speaker at the World Economic Forum and the Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference. ... 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. As of May 2021, Brin is the 9th-richest person in the world according to Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $95.6 billion.

References
Sergey Brin
Nationality
American
Residence
Los Altos, California, United States
Occupation
Computer scientist, Internet entrepreneur
Known for
Co-founding Google and X
Accolades
The 9th-richest person in the world (Forbes); The 5th most powerful people in the world (Forbes); Featured Speaker
Education
University of Maryland (BS), Stanford University (MS)
Thu Feb 29 2024
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