Google's 20% Projects

As Google continues to expand its workforce, preserving its engineers' talent and fostering creativity has been key to the company’s continued success. The 20% project is designed to maintain that piece of Google’s philosophy and culture. Furthermore, the 20% project allows Google to maintain the start up feel in a 20,000+ sized company and attracts a diverse pool of skilled engineers. During this talk, you will hear from a panel of engineers that have worked on various 20% projects. You will have the opportunity to listen to their successes, how they got involved in their respective projects, and how ideas have come to fruition.

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Marc Donner

20% Project: Google Art Project ( http://googleartproject.com/)


Marc Donner was born in a log cabin on the lower East Side of Manhattan in the second half of the twentieth century. After high school he emigrated to Los Angeles where he studied electrical engineering at Caltech before taking a job at NASA working on planetary radar. He then joined IBM's research lab where he worked on a nine-million-pixel display. After a while he wandered off to CMU where he earned a PhD in computer science by programming Ivan Sutherland's six-legged walking robot. A talk on juggling by Claude Shannon inspired him to propose a juggling robot, which IBM Research graciously funded. While that work was going on he sponsored work on what ultimately became the IBM TrackPoint. He then got involved in large-scale distributed computing, which led to a trip to Morgan Stanley, where he built their intranet, re-engineered their back office, and eliminated all of their data center printing, amounting to about two million pages of paper and two million frames of microfiche each day. This then led to some entertaining projects in the marketing department and then in the research department where he led the development of a number of interesting financial modeling engines.


Today he's an engineering director at Google looking after the interests of the infrastructure networking software engineers as well as helping with cybersecurity and advising Google's work with major museums on the GoogleArtProject.com, all while writing articles about science fiction for an engineering magazine.
 

  Google Art Project Summary:

On February 1st Google unveiled the Art Project, a unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail.


Over the course of 18 months Google worked with 17 art museums including, Altes Nationalgalerie, The Freer Gallery of Art Smithsonian, National Gallery (London), The Frick Collection, Gemäldegalerie, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museo Reina Sofia, Museo Thyseen - Bornemisza, Museum Kampa, Palace of Versailles, Rijksmuseum, The State Hermitage Museum, State Tretyakov Gallery, Tate, Uffizi and Van Gogh Museum. The results of this partnership, which can be explored at www.googleartproject.com involved taking a selection of super high resolution images of famous artworks, as well as collating more than a thousand other images into one place. It also included building 360 degree tours of individual galleries using Street View ‘indoor’ technology.


Each of the museums has worked in extensive collaboration with Google, providing expertise and guidance on every step of the project, from choosing which collections to feature; to advising on the best angle to capture photos; to what kind of information should accompany the artwork.


Works of art included in the project range from Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ to Chris Ofili’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’, Cezanne’s post impressionist works to Byzantine iconography.  From the ceilings of Versailles to ancient Egyptian temples, a collection of Whistlers to Rembrandts all over the globe. In total, 486 artists from around the world have been included.

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Zach Lloyd

20% Project: Google Spreadsheets

Zach Lloyd is a Staff Software Engineer at Google and the lead engineer on Google Spreadsheets. Prior to joining Google, Zach worked as lead engineer at Carrentals.com and as a sound recording engineer at a recording studio in New York.  Earlier in his career he worked as an engineer at Amazon.com and the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.  Zach has a BS from Stanford and an MS from the London School of Economics. He also spent a year at Yale Law School before deciding that he’d rather work in tech.

Google Spreadsheet Summary:

Zach prototyped the a new client architecture for Google Spreadsheets in his 20% time and helped come up with the rendering techniques that formed the basis of the overhaul of Google Docs and Spreadsheets that launched in Spring 2010.


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Andrew Hogue

20% Project:  Various Projects

 

 

Andrew Hogue is a Senior Staff Engineer and Engineering Manager in the Search Quality group at Google New York. He has worked on a wide array of projects including question answering , Google Squared , sentiment analysis, local and product search, and Google Goggles . His is interested in the areas of structured data, information extraction, and machine learning, and their applications to search and search interfaces. Prior to Google, he earned a M.Eng. and B.S. in Computer Science from MIT.

 


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The agenda for this event is:

 

5:30 - 6:30 pm: Attendees Register / Networking 
6:30 - 6:35 pm: Welcome & Intro 
6:35 - 7:35 pm: Presentations 
7:35 - 8:00 pm: Q/A

The RSVP name will be provided to the building security in advance - so please do register with your real name (this will significantly speed up registration).

To allow all participants (in the community) to get a clear visibility into their schedules; for all upcoming talks we will make seating reservable two weeks prior to the event. We are hoping that this minor change will help address the last-minute cancelattions and empty seating we experienced with last month's talk. 

Do you have a question for the speaker? Submit it  here.  See a question you like?  Vote it up!  Please note that you can also post questions during the talk - questions posted online in Moderator will be answered by the speaker first.  Public access wifi is available in the room, so bring your Web enabled devices.

Google volunteers will also be present at the event to answer any questions you may have, look for people who are wearing "Google Wear".

The RSVP for the meetup will open 2 weeks before the event on July 13 at 5:30pm.

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Shilpa D.

    Very good orators. Got really inspiring information.

    September 4, 2011

  • Bryan W.

    very informative

    July 29, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time at this meetup. Google really gave a great presentation of the 20% projects!

    July 29, 2011

  • Paramendra B.

    July 28, 2011

  • June K.

    I would like to echo the same sentiment that the panel was excellent in their presentation of sharing this aspect of Google's culture. Also enjoyed some of the thought provoking questions from the audience.
    Please let Marc Donner know there is a blemish to clean up for one of the museums on the site. It is for the Palace of Versailles where you can see the reflection of the technician with the robot on the red wall.

    1 · July 28, 2011

  • Nitya N.

    Loved hearing about the outcomes like the Art project. Probably less "learning" material from an engineering perspective on this talk but a +1 on the inspirational part.

    July 28, 2011

  • Thomas N.

    Very inspiring idea to promote creativity and entrepreneurial spirits within the company. This allows talented employee a chance to shine. This also gives employee a chance to escape from their realm of day-to-day duty.

    July 28, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any chance that the slide deck from last night could be made available to this group? Thanks again to Google!

    July 28, 2011

  • Yongmin Kevin C.

    It gives good ideas about the 20% projects and its value to company and employee.

    July 28, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great Presentation, Smart People, Time well invested.

    July 28, 2011

  • Dennis P.

    Really well organized talk last night. Great food also. It was nice to meet a few new folks as well. Looking forward to the next one on JavaScript testing.

    July 28, 2011

  • John P.

    I enjoyed this meetup, but prefer the more technically driven ones.

    July 28, 2011

  • Jordan K.

    Great talk! Very interesting to have this insider look.

    July 27, 2011

  • L. Frank C.

    Great presentations. Thanks for sharing your work with us!

    July 27, 2011

  • Hery R. R.

    Interesting topics, friendly googlers, and excellent buffet.

    July 27, 2011

  • Hery R. R.

    My empty stomach particularly appreciated the wide variety of foods offered at the buffet!

    July 27, 2011

  • Jon C.

    Great talk session.

    July 27, 2011

  • Hery R. R.

    Thank you for the suggestions! See you there!

    July 27, 2011

  • Erez A.

    Hi Hery, there are multiple bike racks near the building on 9th avenue. It is street parking but it is ok if you have your NYC lock, I have left my bike there a couple of times for the Google meetup.

    July 27, 2011

  • Diane G.

    Parking garages usually offer bike parking for a fee

    July 27, 2011

  • L. Frank C.

    Google Maps street view shows a nice pole (with red sign) that has a bike tied to it right in front of the building. Hope that helps.

    July 26, 2011

  • Hery R. R.

    Hello, is there any safe bicycle parking available near the office, please? Thank you!

    July 26, 2011

  • Harris

    Hello Meetup Members, We are excited about next week's Google Tech Talk. To those on the wait-list: If you get bumped up to Attending before 6pm on July 7/27, please feel free to come to 76 9th Avenue and we will make every effort to get you in to the talk. Thanks!

    July 21, 2011

  • Avneesh V.

    My first MeetUp meeting that I can actually RSVP yes to! Looking forward to this!

    July 18, 2011

  • Nathaniel W.

    -_- ...Why couldn't this be on a Thursday....my day off lol

    July 16, 2011

  • Lin-Yu W.

    This meetup conflicts to Monthly NYC-GTUG Meeting at the same day... I need to have a twin sister to attend one of them.. =_=||

    1 · July 13, 2011

  • Harris

    Hi Shishir,
    The Meetup Group agreed to open RSVP's 2 weeks before the event to allow members clear view into their calendar and to allow the most people possible to attend who wanted to. Sign-ups open: Jul 13,[masked]:30 PM.
    Harris

    July 7, 2011

  • Harris

    Hi Laura,

    The Meetup Group agreed to open RSVP's 2 weeks before the event to allow members clear view into their calendar and to allow the most people possible to attend who wanted to. Sign-ups open: Jul 13,[masked]:30 PM.
    Harris

    July 6, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi. why are the RSVP's closed when this event isn't occurring until July 27th? thanks.

    July 6, 2011

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