Before joining Google, he was at DEC/Compaq's Western Research Laboratory, where he worked on profiling tools, microprocessor architecture, and information retrieval. Much of his work was completed in close collaboration with Sanjay Ghemawat.
Dean joined Google in mid-1999, and is currently the head of Artificial Intelligence (AI). While at Google, he designed and implemented large portions of the company's advertising, crawling, indexing and query serving systems, along with various pieces of the distributed computing infrastructure that underlies most of Google's products. At various times, he has also worked on improving search quality, statistical machine translation, and various internal software development tools and has had significant involvement in the engineering hiring process.
The projects Dean has worked on include:
Spanner, a scalable, multi-version, globally distributed, and synchronously replicated database
Some of the production system design and statistical machine translation system for Google Translate
BigTable, a large-scale semi-structured storage system
MapReduce, a system for large-scale data processing applications
He started and led Google Brain, a team that studies large-scale artificial neural networks, and he has headed Artificial Intelligence efforts since they were split from Google Search.
Dean and his wife, Heidi Hopper, started the Hopper-Dean Foundation and began making philanthropic grants in 2011. In 2016, the foundation gave $1 million each to UC Berkeley and MIT to support programs that promote diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
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