Lawrence ‘Larry’ Edward Page
Lawrence ‘Larry’ Edward Page, born on March 26, 1973 in East Lansing, Michigan, is a notable computer scientist primarily known for being a co-founder of Google. Page’s early influence in computer science stems from his father being a computer science professor and his mother being a computer programming instructor, both at Michigan State University. Having a family that was prominent in the field of computing allowed Page to become attached to computers at an early age, with him even stating “from a very early age, I also realized I wanted to invent things. So, I became really interested in technology and business. Probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually” (Greenwood Press). He would go on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Stanford. Aside from computer science, Larry Page was also known to play the flute and be a saxophonist during his youth.
Page’s most grandiose contribution to the field computer science was progressing the development of the search engine and co-founding Google, Inc. The driving force behind this development was Page’s curiosity in regard to how one web page connected to another. This led to Page creating a research project titled “BackRub” that explored and dissected the various web pages among the internet, hoping that it would be able to make the web a “more valuable place.” During this project, Page met fellow Stanford student, Sergey Brin, who together became a tandem in the development of the search engine. The BackRub project would then lead to Page and Brin creating the PageRank algorithm, which was used as the basis for a search engine that ranked page links by order of importance depending on what was searched. This page quickly garnered thousands of searches a day. The vast amount of success that came from this project then led to Page and Brin creating Google in 1998, with Page as the CEO and Brin as the President.
In no time, Google would quickly become a worldwide phenomenon. This widely affected the progression of computer science and the internet as a whole. Google and search engines rapidly became an essential feature of the Internet and made the emphasis of citation critical for online texts. Google had accumulated over 1 billion web pages in its index by 2000, making it the largest web search engine in existence at the time. Google would also become so prevalent among the world that it became a verb in the dictionary becoming nearly synonymous with the word “search”. Before Google, people had to resort to libraries as their database means of research, now the same information can be distributed to wide array of people just with a simple search. Entrepreneur Magazine states: “Google enabled free searches of words or terms, making all manner of information instantly retrievable even if you did not know where it was housed. With Google, you could find any needle in any haystack at any time.” This conversion of physical archives to digital ones is greatly in thanks to Google streamlining the access of information through the web.
Larry Page has accumulated many substantial accolades in his career that have been influential and revolutionary for the field of computer science. His tenacity and curiosity about the links between pages brought forth an extraordinary amount of advancements to the internet and computer world as a whole. It truly is extremely difficult to imagine a world without Google with the rise of technology we see today. Without Page and his efforts, we would not have the luxury of easily accessing a vast amount of information instantaneously that we currently have. The way people perceive the internet would not be the same either, as it would not be as resourceful without the development of the PageRank algorithm that paved the way for search engines going forward. Computer science is literally defined as: “a branch of science that deals with the theory of computation or the design of computers” (Merriam-Webster), and it goes without saying that Larry Page and the founding of Google did wonders to make advancements in this field of study.
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