Drink from the firehose with University Research Programs

July 26, 2007

Posted by Michael Lancaster and Josh Estelle, Software Engineers

Whenever we talk to university researchers, we hear a consistent message: they wish they had Google infrastructure. In pursuit of our company mission, we have built an elaborate set of systems for collecting, organizing, and analyzing information about the web. Operating and maintaining such an infrastructure is a high barrier to entry for many researchers. We recognize this and want to share some of the fruits of our labor with the research community. Today, in conjunction with the Google Faculty Summit we're making two services available under the new University Research Programs, namely access to web search, and machine translation.

University Research Program for Google Search

Google is focused on the success of the web, which is essentially an organism in and of itself with extremely complex contents and an ever-evolving structure. The primary goal of the University Research Program for Google Search is to promote research that creates a greater understanding of the web. We want to make it easy for researchers to analyze millions of queries in a reasonably short amount of time. We feel that such research can benefit everyone. As such, we've added a proviso that all research produced through this program must be published in a freely accessible manner.

University Research Program for Google Translate

The web is a global information medium with content from many cultures and languages. In order to break the language barrier, many researchers are hard at work building high quality, automatic, machine translation systems. We've been successful with our own statistical machine translation system, and are now happy to provide researchers greater access to it. The University Research Program for Google Translate provides researchers access to translations, including detailed word alignment information and lists of the n-best translations with detailed scoring information. We hope this program will be a terrific resource to help further the state of the art in automatic machine translation.

The web holds a wealth of untapped research potential and we look forward to seeing great new publications enabled by these new programs. Go ahead - surprise us!

By the way, since many researchers lead a double life as educators, we want to let you know about a site that recently launched: Google Code for Educators, designed to make it easy for CS faculty to integrate cutting-edge computer science topics into their courses. Check it out.