Tag Archives: Diversity

Announcing the 2021 Research Scholar Program Recipients

In March 2020 we introduced the Research Scholar Program, an effort focused on developing collaborations with new professors and encouraging the formation of long-term relationships with the academic community. In November we opened the inaugural call for proposals for this program, which was received with enthusiastic interest from faculty who are working on cutting edge research across many research areas in computer science, including machine learning, human-computer interaction, health research, systems and more.

Today we are pleased to announce that in this first year of the program we have granted 77 awards, which included 86 principal investigators representing 15+ countries and over 50 universities. Of the 86 award recipients, 43% identify as an historically marginalized group within technology. Please see the full list of 2021 recipients on our web page, as well as in the list below.

We offer our congratulations to this year’s recipients, and look forward to seeing what they achieve!

Algorithms and Optimization
Alexandros Psomas, Purdue University
   Auction Theory Beyond Independent, Quasi-Linear Bidders
Julian Shun, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
   Scalable Parallel Subgraph Finding and Peeling Algorithms
Mary Wootters, Stanford University
   The Role of Redundancy in Algorithm Design
Pravesh K. Kothari, Carnegie Mellon University
   Efficient Algorithms for Robust Machine Learning
Sepehr Assadi, Rutgers University
   Graph Clustering at Scale via Improved Massively Parallel Algorithms

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Srinath Sridhar, Brown University
   Perception and Generation of Interactive Objects

Geo
Miriam E. Marlier, University of California, Los Angeles
   Mapping California’s Compound Climate Hazards in Google Earth Engine
Suining He, University of Connecticut
   Fairness-Aware and Cross-Modality Traffic Learning and Predictive Modeling for Urban Smart Mobility Systems

Human Computer Interaction
Arvind Satyanarayan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
   Generating Semantically Rich Natural Language Captions for Data Visualizations to Promote Accessibility
Dina El-Zanfaly, Carnegie Mellon University
   In-the-making: An intelligence mediated collaboration system for creative practices
Katharina Reinecke, University of Washington
   Providing Science-Backed Answers to Health-related Questions in Google Search
Misha Sra, University of California, Santa Barbara
   Hands-free Game Controller for Quadriplegic Individuals
Mohsen Mosleh, University of Exeter Business School
   Effective Strategies to Debunk False Claims on Social Media: A large-scale digital field experiments approach
Tanushree Mitra, University of Washington
   Supporting Scalable Value-Sensitive Fact-Checking through Human-AI Intelligence

Health Research
Catarina Barata, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa
   DeepMutation – A CNN Model To Predict Genetic Mutations In Melanoma Patients
Emma Pierson, Cornell Tech, the Jacobs Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Cornell University
   Using cell phone mobility data to reduce inequality and improve public health
Jasmine Jones, Berea College
   Reachout: Co-Designing Social Connection Technologies for Isolated Young Adults
Mojtaba Golzan, University of Technology Sydney, Jack Phu, University of New South Wales
   Autonomous Grading of Dynamic Blood Vessel Markers in the Eye using Deep Learning
Serena Yeung, Stanford University
   Artificial Intelligence Analysis of Surgical Technique in the Operating Room

Machine Learning and Data Mining
Aravindan Vijayaraghavan, Northwestern University, Sivaraman Balakrishnan, Carnegie Mellon University
   Principled Approaches for Learning with Test-time Robustness
Cho-Jui Hsieh, University of California, Los Angeles
   Scalability and Tunability for Neural Network Optimizers
Golnoosh Farnadi, University of Montreal, HEC Montreal/MILA
   Addressing Algorithmic Fairness in Decision-focused Deep Learning
Harrie Oosterhuis, Radboud University
   Search and Recommendation Systems that Learn from Diverse User Preferences
Jimmy Ba, University of Toronto
   Model-based Reinforcement Learning with Causal World Models
Nadav Cohen, Tel-Aviv University
   A Dynamical Theory of Deep Learning
Nihar Shah, Carnegie Mellon University
   Addressing Unfairness in Distributed Human Decisions
Nima Fazeli, University of Michigan
   Semi-Implicit Methods for Deformable Object Manipulation
Qingyao Ai, University of Utah
   Metric-agnostic Ranking Optimization
Stefanie Jegelka, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
   Generalization of Graph Neural Networks under Distribution Shifts
Virginia Smith, Carnegie Mellon University
   A Multi-Task Approach for Trustworthy Federated Learning

Mobile
Aruna Balasubramanian, State University of New York – Stony Brook
   AccessWear: Ubiquitous Accessibility using Wearables
Tingjun Chen, Duke University
   Machine Learning- and Optical-enabled Mobile Millimeter-Wave Networks

Machine Perception
Amir Patel, University of Cape Town
   WildPose: 3D Animal Biomechanics in the Field using Multi-Sensor Data Fusion
Angjoo Kanazawa, University of California, Berkeley
   Practical Volumetric Capture of People and Scenes
Emanuele Rodolà, Sapienza University of Rome
   Fair Geometry: Toward Algorithmic Debiasing in Geometric Deep Learning
Minchen Wei, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
   Accurate Capture of Perceived Object Colors for Smart Phone Cameras
Mohsen Ali and Izza Aftab, Information Technology University of the Punjab, Pakistan
   Is Economics From Afar Domain Generalizable?
Vineeth N Balasubramanian, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad
   Bridging Perspectives of Explainability and Adversarial Robustness
Xin Yu and Linchao Zhu, University of Technology Sydney
   Sign Language Translation in the Wild

Networking
Aurojit Panda, New York University
   Bertha: Network APIs for the Programmable Network Era
Cristina Klippel Dominicini, Instituto Federal do Espirito Santo
   Polynomial Key-based Architecture for Source Routing in Network Fabrics
Noa Zilberman, University of Oxford
   Exposing Vulnerabilities in Programmable Network Devices
Rachit Agarwal, Cornell University
   Designing Datacenter Transport for Terabit Ethernet

Natural Language Processing
Danqi Chen, Princeton University
   Improving Training and Inference Efficiency of NLP Models
Derry Tanti Wijaya, Boston University, Anietie Andy, University of Pennsylvania
   Exploring the evolution of racial biases over time through framing analysis
Eunsol Choi, University of Texas at Austin
   Answering Information Seeking Questions In The Wild
Kai-Wei Chang, University of California, Los Angeles
   Certified Robustness to against language differences in Cross-Lingual Transfer
Mohohlo Samuel Tsoeu, University of Cape Town
   Corpora collection and complete natural language processing of isiXhosa, Sesotho and South African Sign languages
Natalia Diaz Rodriguez, University of Granada (Spain) + ENSTA, Institut Polytechnique Paris, Inria. Lorenzo Baraldi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
   SignNet: Towards democratizing content accessibility for the deaf by aligning multi-modal sign representations

Other Research Areas
John Dickerson, University of Maryland – College Park, Nicholas Mattei, Tulane University
   Fairness and Diversity in Graduate Admissions
Mor Nitzan, Hebrew University
   Learning representations of tissue design principles from single-cell data
Nikolai Matni, University of Pennsylvania
   Robust Learning for Safe Control

Privacy
Foteini Baldimtsi, George Mason University
   Improved Single-Use Anonymous Credentials with Private Metabit
Yu-Xiang Wang, University of California, Santa Barbara
   Stronger, Better and More Accessible Differential Privacy with autodp

Quantum Computing
Ashok Ajoy, University of California, Berkeley
   Accelerating NMR spectroscopy with a Quantum Computer
John Nichol, University of Rochester
   Coherent spin-photon coupling
Jordi Tura i Brugués, Leiden University
   RAGECLIQ - Randomness Generation with Certification via Limited Quantum Devices
Nathan Wiebe, University of Toronto
   New Frameworks for Quantum Simulation and Machine Learning
Philipp Hauke, University of Trento
   ProGauge: Protecting Gauge Symmetry in Quantum Hardware
Shruti Puri, Yale University
   Surface Code Co-Design for Practical Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing

Structured Data, Extraction, Semantic Graph, and Database Management
Abolfazl Asudeh, University Of Illinois, Chicago
   An end-to-end system for detecting cherry-picked trendlines
Eugene Wu, Columbia University
   Interactive training data debugging for ML analytics
Jingbo Shang, University of California, San Diego
   Structuring Massive Text Corpora via Extremely Weak Supervision

Security
Chitchanok Chuengsatiansup and Markus Wagner, University of Adelaide
   Automatic Post-Quantum Cryptographic Code Generation and Optimization
Elette Boyle, IDC Herzliya, Israel
   Cheaper Private Set Intersection via Advances in "Silent OT"
Joseph Bonneau, New York University
   Zeroizing keys in secure messaging implementations
Yu Feng , University of California, Santa Barbara, Yuan Tian, University of Virginia
   Exploit Generation Using Reinforcement Learning

Software engineering and Programming Languages
Kelly Blincoe, University of Auckland
   Towards more inclusive software engineering practices to retain women in software engineering
Fredrik Kjolstad, Stanford University
   Sparse Tensor Algebra Compilation to Domain-Specific Architectures
Milos Gligoric, University of Texas at Austin
   Adaptive Regression Test Selection
Sarah E. Chasins, University of California, Berkeley
   If you break it, you fix it: Synthesizing program transformations so that library maintainers can make breaking changes

Systems
Adwait Jog, College of William & Mary
   Enabling Efficient Sharing of Emerging GPUs
Heiner Litz, University of California, Santa Cruz
   Software Prefetching Irregular Memory Access Patterns
Malte Schwarzkopf, Brown University
   Privacy-Compliant Web Services by Construction
Mehdi Saligane, University of Michigan
   Autonomous generation of Open Source Analog & Mixed Signal IC
Nathan Beckmann, Carnegie Mellon University
   Making Data Access Faster and Cheaper with Smarter Flash Caches
Yanjing Li, University of Chicago
   Resilient Accelerators for Deep Learning Training Tasks

Source: Google AI Blog


#ShareTheMicInCyber: Brooke Pearson


In an effort to showcase the breadth and depth of Black+ contributions to security and privacy fields, we’ve launched a profile series that aims to elevate and celebrate the Black+ voices in security and privacy we have here at Google.



Brooke Pearson manages the Privacy Sandbox program at Google, and her team's mission is to, “Create a thriving web ecosystem that is respectful of users and private by default.” Brooke lives this mission and it is what makes her an invaluable asset to the Chrome team and Google. 

In addition to her work advancing the fields of security and privacy, she is a fierce advocate for women in the workplace and for elevating the voices of her fellow Black+ practitioners in security and privacy. She has participated and supported the #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign since its inception.

Brooke is passionate about delivering privacy solutions that work and making browsing the web an inherently more private experience for users around the world.Why do you work in security or privacy?

I work in security and privacy to protect people and their personal information. It’s that simple. Security and privacy are two issues that are core to shaping the future of technology and how we interact with each other over the Internet. The challenges are immense, and yet the ability to impact positive change is what drew me to the field.

Tell us a little bit about your career journey to Google

My career journey into privacy does not involve traditional educational training in the field. In fact, my background is in public policy and communications, but when I transitioned to the technology industry, I realized that the most pressing policy issues for companies like Google surround the nascent field of privacy and the growing field of security.

After I graduated from college at Azusa Pacific University, I was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Macau, where I spent one year studying Chinese and teaching English. I then moved to Washington D.C. where I initially worked for the State Department while finishing my graduate degree in International Public Policy at George Washington University. I had an amazing experience in that role and it afforded me some incredible networking opportunities and the chance to travel the world, as I worked in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

After about five years in the public sector, I joined Facebook as a Program Manager for the Global Public Policy team, initially focused on social good programs like Safety Check and Charitable Giving. Over time, I could see that the security team at Facebook was focused on fighting the proliferation of misinformation, and this called to me as an area where I could put my expertise in communication and geopolitical policy to work. So I switched teams and I've been in the security and privacy field ever since, eventually for Uber and now with Google's Chrome team.

At Google, privacy and security are at the heart of everything we do. Chrome is tackling some of the world's biggest security and privacy problems, and everyday my work impacts billions of people around the world. Most days, that's pretty daunting, but every day it's humbling and inspiring.

What is your security or privacy "soapbox"?

If we want to encourage people to engage in more secure behavior, we have to make it easy to understand and easy to act on. Every day we strive to make our users safer with Google by implementing security and privacy controls that are effective and easy for our users to use and understand.

As a program manager, I’ve learned that it is almost always more effective to offer a carrot than a stick, when it comes to security and privacy hygiene. I encourage all of our users to visit our Safety Center to learn all the ways Google helps you stay safe online, every day.

If you are interested in following Brooke’s work here at Google and beyond, please follow her on Twitter @brookelenet. We will be bringing you more profiles over the coming weeks and we hope you will engage with and share these with your network.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about #ShareTheMicInCyber, click here.

#ShareTheMicInCyber: Rob Duhart

Posted by Matt Levine, Director, Risk Management

In an effort to showcase the breadth and depth of Black+ contributions to security and privacy fields, we’ve launched a series in support of #ShareTheMicInCyber that aims to elevate and celebrate the Black+ voices in security and privacy we have here at Google.

Today, we will hear from Rob Duhart, he leads a cross functional team at Google that aims to enable and empower all of our products, like Chrome, Android and Maps, to mature their security risk journey.

Rob’s commitment to making the internet a safer place extends far beyond his work at Google, he is a member of the Cyber Security Executive Education Advisory Board of Directors at Washington University in St. Louis, where he helps craft the future of cyber security executive education globally. Rob also sits on the board of the EC-Council and has founded chapters of the International Consortium of Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) across the country.

Rob is passionate about securing the digital world and supporting Black+, women, and underrepresented minorities across the technology landscape.


Why do you work in security or privacy?

I have been in the cyber world long enough to know how important it is for security and privacy to be top of mind and focus for organizations of all shapes and sizes. My passion lies in keeping users and Googlers safe. One of the main reasons I joined Google is its commitment to security and privacy.


Tell us a little bit about your career journey to Google...

I was fortunate to begin my cybersecurity career in the United States Government working at the Department of Energy, FBI, and the Intelligence Community. I transitioned to the private sector in 2017 and have been fortunate to lead talented security teams at Cardinal Health and Ford Motor Company.

My journey into cybersecurity was not traditional. I studied Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, completed graduate education at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University. I honed my skills and expertise in this space through hands on experience and with the support of many amazing mentors. It has been the ride of a lifetime and I look forward to what is next.

To those thinking about making a career change or are just starting to get into security, my advice is don’t be afraid to ask for help.


What is your security or privacy "soapbox"?

At Google, we implement a model known as Federated Security, where our security teams partner across our Product Areas to enable security program maturity Google wide. Our Federated Security team believes in harnessing the power of relationship, engagement, and community to drive maturity into every product. Security and privacy are team sports – it takes business leaders and security leaders working together to secure and protect our digital and physical worlds.

If you are interested in following Rob’s work here at Google and beyond, please follow him on Twitter @RobDuhart. We will be bringing you more profiles over the coming weeks and we hope you will engage with and share these with your network.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about #ShareTheMicInCyber, click here.

Google’s initiative for more inclusive language in open source projects

Certain terms in open source projects reinforce negative associations and unconscious biases. At Google, we want our language to be inclusive. The Google Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) created and posted a policy for new Google-run projects to remove the terms “slave,” “whitelist,” and “blacklist,” and replace them with more inclusive alternatives, such as “replica,” “allowlist,” and “blocklist.” OSPO required that new projects follow this policy beginning October 2020, and has plans to enforce these changes on more complex, established projects beginning in 2021. 


To ensure this policy was implemented in a timely manner, a small team within OSPO and Developer Relations orchestrated tool and policy updates and an open-source specific fix-it, a virtual event where Google engineers dedicate time to fixing a project. The fix-it focused on existing projects and non-breaking changes, but also served as a reminder that inclusivity is an important part of our daily work. Now that the original fix-it is over, the policy remains and the projects continue.

For more information on why inclusive language matters to us, you can check out Google Developer Documentation Style Guide which contains a section on word-choice with useful, clearer alternatives. Regardless of the phrases used, it is necessary to understand that certain terms reinforce biases and that replacing them is a positive step, both in creating a more welcoming atmosphere for everyone and in being more technically accurate. In short, words matter.


By Erin Balabanian, Open Source Compliance.

Announcing the Recipients of the 2020 Award for Inclusion Research

At Google, it is our ongoing goal to support faculty who are conducting innovative research that will have positive societal impact. As part of that goal, earlier this year we launched the Award for Inclusion Research program, a global program that supports academic research in computing and technology addressing the needs of underrepresented populations. The Award for Inclusion Research program allows faculty and Google researchers an opportunity to partner on their research initiatives and build new and constructive long-term relationships.

We received 100+ applications from over 100 universities, globally, and today we are excited to announce the 16 proposals chosen for funding, focused on an array of topics around diversity and inclusion, algorithmic bias, education innovation, health tools, accessibility, gender bias, AI for social good, security, and social justice. The proposals include 25 principal investigators who focus on making the community stronger through their research efforts.

Congratulations to announce this year’s recipients:

"Human Centred Technology Design for Social Justice in Africa"
Anicia Peters (University of Namibia) and Shaimaa Lazem (City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Egypt)

"Modern NLP for Regional and Dialectal Language Variants"
Antonios Anastasopoulos (George Mason University)

"Culturally Relevant Collaborative Health Tracking Tools for Motivating Heart-Healthy Behaviors Among African Americans"
Aqueasha Martin-Hammond (Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis) and Tanjala S. Purnell (Johns Hopkins University)

"Characterizing Energy Equity in the United States"
Destenie Nock and Constantine Samaras (Carnegie Mellon University)

"Developing a Dialogue System for a Culturally-Responsive Social Programmable Robot"
Erin Walker (University of Pittsburgh) and Leshell Hatley (Coppin State University)

"Eliminating Gender Bias in NLP Beyond English"
Hinrich Schuetze (LMU Munich)

"The Ability-Based Design Mobile Toolkit: Enabling Accessible Mobile Interactions through Advanced Sensing and Modeling"
Jacob O. Wobbrock (University of Washington)

"Mutual aid and community engagement: Community-based mechanisms against algorithmic bias"
Jasmine McNealy (University of Florida)

"Empowering Syrian Girls through Culturally Sensitive Mobile Technology and Media Literacy
Karen Elizabeth Fisher (University of Washington) and Yacine Ghamri-Doudane (University of La Rochelle)

"Broadening participation in data science through examining the health, social, and economic impacts of gentrification"
Latifa Jackson (Howard University) and Hasan Jackson (Howard University)

"Understanding How Peer and Near Peer Mentors co-Facilitating the Active Learning Process of Introductory Data Structures Within an Immersive Summer Experience Effected Rising Sophomore Computer Science Student Persistence and Preparedness for Careers in Silicon Valley"
Legand Burge (Howard University) and Marlon Mejias (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

"Who is Most Likely to Advocate for this Case? A Machine Learning Approach"
Maria De-Arteaga (University of Texas at Austin)

"Contextual Rendering of Equations for Visually Impaired Persons"
Meenakshi Balakrishnan (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India) and Volker Sorge (University of Birmingham)

"Measuring the Cultural Competence of Computing Students and Faculty Nationwide to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
Nicki Washington (Duke University)

"Designing and Building Collaborative Tools for Mixed-Ability Programming Teams"
Steve Oney (University of Michigan)

"Iterative Design of a Black Studies Research Computing Initiative through `Flipped Research’"
Timothy Sherwood and Sharon Tettegah (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Source: Google AI Blog


Announcing the Recipients of the 2020 Award for Inclusion Research

At Google, it is our ongoing goal to support faculty who are conducting innovative research that will have positive societal impact. As part of that goal, earlier this year we launched the Award for Inclusion Research program, a global program that supports academic research in computing and technology addressing the needs of underrepresented populations. The Award for Inclusion Research program allows faculty and Google researchers an opportunity to partner on their research initiatives and build new and constructive long-term relationships.

We received 100+ applications from over 100 universities, globally, and today we are excited to announce the 16 proposals chosen for funding, focused on an array of topics around diversity and inclusion, algorithmic bias, education innovation, health tools, accessibility, gender bias, AI for social good, security, and social justice. The proposals include 25 principal investigators who focus on making the community stronger through their research efforts.

Congratulations to announce this year’s recipients:

"Human Centred Technology Design for Social Justice in Africa"
Anicia Peters (University of Namibia) and Shaimaa Lazem (City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Egypt)

"Modern NLP for Regional and Dialectal Language Variants"
Antonios Anastasopoulos (George Mason University)

"Culturally Relevant Collaborative Health Tracking Tools for Motivating Heart-Healthy Behaviors Among African Americans"
Aqueasha Martin-Hammond (Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis) and Tanjala S. Purnell (Johns Hopkins University)

"Characterizing Energy Equity in the United States"
Destenie Nock and Constantine Samaras (Carnegie Mellon University)

"Developing a Dialogue System for a Culturally-Responsive Social Programmable Robot"
Erin Walker (University of Pittsburgh) and Leshell Hatley (Coppin State University)

"Eliminating Gender Bias in NLP Beyond English"
Hinrich Schuetze (LMU Munich)

"The Ability-Based Design Mobile Toolkit: Enabling Accessible Mobile Interactions through Advanced Sensing and Modeling"
Jacob O. Wobbrock (University of Washington)

"Mutual aid and community engagement: Community-based mechanisms against algorithmic bias"
Jasmine McNealy (University of Florida)

"Empowering Syrian Girls through Culturally Sensitive Mobile Technology and Media Literacy
Karen Elizabeth Fisher (University of Washington) and Yacine Ghamri-Doudane (University of La Rochelle)

"Broadening participation in data science through examining the health, social, and economic impacts of gentrification"
Latifa Jackson (Howard University) and Hasan Jackson (Howard University)

"Understanding How Peer and Near Peer Mentors co-Facilitating the Active Learning Process of Introductory Data Structures Within an Immersive Summer Experience Effected Rising Sophomore Computer Science Student Persistence and Preparedness for Careers in Silicon Valley"
Legand Burge (Howard University) and Marlon Mejias (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

"Who is Most Likely to Advocate for this Case? A Machine Learning Approach"
Maria De-Arteaga (University of Texas at Austin)

"Contextual Rendering of Equations for Visually Impaired Persons"
Meenakshi Balakrishnan (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India) and Volker Sorge (University of Birmingham)

"Measuring the Cultural Competence of Computing Students and Faculty Nationwide to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
Nicki Washington (Duke University)

"Designing and Building Collaborative Tools for Mixed-Ability Programming Teams"
Steve Oney (University of Michigan)

"Iterative Design of a Black Studies Research Computing Initiative through `Flipped Research’"
Timothy Sherwood and Sharon Tettegah (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Source: Google AI Blog


Exploring New Ways to Support Faculty Research



For the past 15 years, the Google Faculty Research Award Program has helped support world-class technical research in computer science, engineering, and related fields, funding over 2000 academics at ~400 Universities in 50+ countries since its inception. As Google Research continues to evolve, we continually explore new ways to improve our support of the broader research community, specifically on how to support new faculty while also strengthening our existing collaborations .

To achieve this goal, we are introducing two new programs aimed at diversifying our support across a larger community. Moving forward, these programs will replace the Faculty Research Award program, allowing us to better engage with, and support, up-and-coming researchers:

The Research Scholar Program supports early-career faculty (those who have received their doctorate within the past 7 years) who are doing impactful research in fields relevant to Google, and is intended to help to develop new collaborations and encourage long term relationships. This program will be open for applications in Fall 2020, and we encourage submissions from faculty at universities around the world.

We will also be piloting the Award for Inclusion Research Program, which will recognize and support research that addresses the needs of historically underrepresented populations. This Summer we will invite faculty—both directly and via their institutions—to submit their research proposals for consideration later this year, and we will notify award recipients by year's end.

These programs will complement our existing support of academic research around the world, including the Latin America Research Awards, the PhD Fellowship Program, the Visiting Researcher Program and research grant funding. To explore other ways we are supporting the research community, please visit this page. As always, we encourage faculty to review our publication database for overlapping research interests for collaboration opportunities, and apply to the above programs. We look forward to working with you!

Source: Google AI Blog


Building Skills, Building Community

Year after year, we hear from conference attendees that it's not just the content they came for, it's the connections. Meeting new people, getting new perspectives, making new friends (and sometimes hiring them!) is a big part of KubeCon Life. We want to make sure that the Kubecon community is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds but just being welcoming is not enough: we have to actually do the work to help people get through the door.

The easiest way to help people get through the door is through diversity scholarships. One of the biggest blockers to full participation in our community is just having the resources to get to the room where it happens, and a diversity scholarship—not just a ticket, but travel assistance too—helps increase participation.

1: Going Swagless

This Kubecon we want you to take away the really important things from the conference: new knowledge and new connections... not just another pen or plastic doodad. (Although to be fair, we will also have plenty of stickers... stickers aren't swag, they're an essential part of Kubecon!)

Google prides itself on being a data-driven company, so when we need to decide where we can spend our dollars to make the most impact and do the most good for the Kubecon community, we turn to the data. We know there is an issue from the CNCF KubeCon report in Seattle 2018 reporting in 11% women (and that’s not even a complete diversity metric). Now looking at the things conference attendees have told us they value about Kubecon, we put together this handy chart to help us guide our decision-making:
Travel + Conf Ticket ScholarshipBranded Pen
Face to face learning
Career development
OSS community building
Writing tools

We also need to consider externalities when we make our decisions—and going #swagless and dedicating those resources to improving the conversation and community at Kubecon has some positive externalities: less plastic (and lighter luggage going home) is better for the planet, too!

If our work to support diversity and inclusion at Kubecon has inspired you and you want to know what your org can do to participate, there is plenty of room in the #swagless tent for everyone—redirect your swag budget to D&I efforts. Shoutouts to conference organizers like SpringOne that went totally swagless this year!

2: Diversity Lunch + Hack

Our commitment to a welcoming environment and a diverse community doesn't stop at getting people in the door: we also need to work on inclusion. Our diversity lunch and hack is a place where people can:
  • Build their skills through pair programming
  • Get installation help
  • Do deep-dives on k8s topics
  • Connect with others in the community
Our diversity lunch isn't just talking about diversity: it's about working towards diversity through skill-building and creating stronger community bonds. Register here!

We welcomed 220 friends and allies in Barcelona and expect to continue the sold-out streak in San Diego (get your ticket now)!

3: Redirecting Even More

But wait, there's more! We're not just going #swagless, we're also redirecting all the hands-on workshop registration fees ($50) from Anthos Day, Anthos&GKE Lab, OSS: Agones, Knative, and Kubeflow to the diversity scholarship fund. You can build a stronger, more diverse community while you build your skills—a total twofer. (And our workshops are also walking the walk of inclusion by being accessible themselves: if you need support to attend a workshop, whether financial or physical, send us a note.

4: Hiring

Also, one of the best things any company can do to drive D&I is to hire people who will help your company become more diverse, whether as a consultant to help you build your program, or as a team member who will help you bring a wider perspective to your product! Come meet a Googler at any of the activities we are doing during the week to discuss jobs at Google Cloud: g.co/Kubecon.

By: Paris Pittman, Google Open Source

Paving the way for a more diverse open source landscape: The First OSS Contributor Summit in Mexico

“I was able to make my first contribution yesterday, and today it was merged. I'm so excited about my first steps in open source", a participant said about the First Summit for Open Source Contributors, which took place this September in Guadalajara, México.
How do you involve others in open source? How can we make this space more inclusive for groups with low representation in the field?

With these questions in mind and the call to contribute to software that is powering the world's favorite products, Google partnered with Software Guru magazine, Wizeline Academy, OSOM (a consortium started by Googler, Griselda Cuevas, to engage more Mexican developers in open source), IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Indeed to organize the First Summit for Open Source Contributors in Mexico. The Apache Software Foundation and the CNCF were some of the organizations that sponsored the conference. The event consisted of two days of training and presentations on a selection of open source projects, including Apache Beam, Gnome, Node JS, Istio, Kubernetes, Firefox, Drupal, and others. Through 19 workshops, participants were able to learn about the state of open source in Latin America, and also get dedicated coaching and hands-on practice to become active contributors in OSS. While unpaid, these collaborations represent the most popular way of learning to code and building a portfolio for young professionals, or people looking to do a career shift towards tech.


As reported by many advocacy groups in the past few years, diversity remains a big debt in the tech industry. Only an average of 8.4% of employees in ten of the leading tech companies are Latinx(1). The gap is even bigger in open source software, where only 2.6% of committers to Apache projects are Latinx(2). Diversity in tech is not just the right thing to do, it is also good business: bringing more diverse participation in software development will result in more inclusive and successful products, that serve a more comprehensive set of use cases and needs in any given population.


While representation numbers in the creation of software are still looking grim, the use of OSS is growing fast: It is estimated that Cloud and big-data OSS technologies will grow five times by 2025 in Latin America. The main barrier for contributing? Language. 

The First Summit for Open Source Contributors set out to close this fundamental gap between tech users and its makers. To tackle this problem, we created, in partnership with other companies, 135 hours of content in Spanish for 481 participants, which produced over 200 new contributors across 19 open source projects. When asked why contributions from the region are so low, 41% of participants said it was due to lack of awareness, and 34% said they thought their contributions were not valuable. After the event, 47% of participants reported that the workshops and presentations provided them with information or guidance on how to contribute to specific projects, and 39% said the event helped them to lose fear and contribute. Almost 100% of participants stated that they plan to continue contributing to Open Source in the near future… and if they do, they would raise representation of Latinx in Open Source to 10%.
Organizing Team
This event left us with a lot of hope for the future of diversity and inclusion in open source. Going forward, we hope to continue supporting this summit in Latin America, and look for ways of reproducing this model in other regions of the world, as well as designing proactive outreach campaigns in other formats.

View more pictures of the event here.
View some of the recorded presentations here.


By: María Cruz for Google Open Source

(1) Aggregate data from Tech Crunch: https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/the-future-of-diversity-and-inclusion-in-tech/
(2) Data from the last Apache Software Foundation Committer Survey, applied in 2016, 765 respondents (13% of committers)

Why Diversity is Important in Open Source: Google’s Sponsorship of OSSEU

The Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference is taking place in Lyon, France, which the Google Open Source Programs Office is sponsoring. The Linux Foundation supports shared technology through open source, while the conference provides a space for developers and technologists in open source to meet, network, and share knowledge with one another in order to advance the community. Why is this of utmost importance to Google OSS? Google has been rooted in the open source community for many years, supporting programs, projects, and organizations to help advance open source software and technology—we understand the necessity of sustaining open source and the developer community in order to advance technology as a whole.

Sponsoring OSSEU is more than just providing funds, but really pushing the diversity initiative in open source. We need diversity across all levels in open source whether it’s contributors, maintainers, doc writers, or anyone supporting the project. As said recently by the Open Source Initiative, “Many perspectives makes better software.” Having previously funded diversity initiatives such as scholarships or lunches at OSS conferences, Google continues to support this cause by sponsoring the diversity lunch at OSSEU.
In particular, sessions and events that Google will be hosting while at OSSEU include a keynote on Documentation by Megan Byrd-Sanicki and the Women in Open Source Lunch, both on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. The keynote on Docs highlights the importance of doc stars and why their contributions are essential to the growth of the open source community. Our support of the women in open source lunch is especially important as we look to increase the diversity of the open source community by supporting women and non-binary persons to get more involved and have the opportunity to connect with each other at an event of this scale.

If you’re attending OSSEU, stop by the keynote, and we hope to see you at the lunch as well. If you aren’t attending this year, and are interested in getting more involved in the open source community, the summits hosted by the Linux Foundation are one of the best ways to learn more about OSS and meet passionate people involved in different OSS projects and organizations.

By Radha Jhatakia, Google OSPO