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Jeff Dean

Jeff Dean

American computer scientist
Jeff Dean
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American computer scientist
A.K.A. Jeffrey Adgate Dean
Is Computer scientist Software engineer Artificial intelligence researcher
From United States of America
Type Science Technology
Gender male
Birth July 1968, Hawaii, USA
Age 52 years
Residence Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, USA
University of Minnesota Bachelor of Science (-1990)
University of Washington doctorate (-1996)
University of Washington Master of Science
Notable Works
Web search for a planet: the google cluster architecture  
honorary member 2016
ACM Prize in Computing 2012
ACM Fellow  
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences  
The details


Jeffrey Adgate "Jeff" Dean (born July 1968) is an American computer scientist and software engineer. He is currently the lead of Google AI, Google's AI division.


Dean received a B.S., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in Computer Science & Engineering in 1990. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington, working under Craig Chambers on compilers and whole-program optimization techniques for object-oriented programming languages in 1996. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009, which recognized his work on "the science and engineering of large-scale distributed computer systems."

Career in Computer Science

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.

Prior to graduate school, he worked at the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS, developing software for statistical modeling and forecasting of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Career at Google

Dean joined Google in mid-1999, and is currently the head of its Artificial Intelligence division. 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
  • LevelDB, an open-source on-disk key-value store
  • DistBelief, a proprietary machine-learning system for deep neural networks that was eventually refactored into TensorFlow
  • TensorFlow, an open-source machine-learning software library

He was an early member of 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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology to support programs that promote diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Personal life

Dean is married and has two daughters.

Awards and honors

  • Elected to the National Academy of Engineering (2009)
  • Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (2009)
  • ACM-Infosys Foundation Award (2012)
  • ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award (2012)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2016)

He is widely credited within the Google corporation and in the general field of Computer Science for his numerous contributions to the field.


Dean was interviewed for the 2018 book Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building it by the American futurist Martin Ford.

Major publications

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 12 Oct 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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