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Amit Singhal

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Amit Singhal
Born September 1968 (age 48–49)
Jhansi[1]
Alma mater Cornell University (PhD,1996)
University of Minnesota (MS,1991)
IIT Roorkee (BS,1989)
Awards Member of NAE
ACM Fellow
Website singhal.info
Scientific career
Fields Information retrieval
Thesis Term weighting revisited (1997)
Doctoral advisor Claire Cardie[2][3]
Gerard Salton [4]

Amitabh Kumar "Amit" Singhal (born September 1968) is the former senior vice president of engineering at Uber, a position he took up in 2017, reporting to CEO Travis Kalanick.[5][6] Prior to this, he was senior vice president and software engineer at Google Inc.. He was a Google Fellow, and was the head of Google's core ranking team.[7][8] He left Google on 26 February 2016 as the Head of Google Search.[9][10]

Biography

Born in Jhansi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India,[11] Singhal received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from IIT Roorkee in 1989.[12] He continued his computer science education in the United States, and received an M.S. degree from University of Minnesota Duluth in 1991.[13]

Singhal continued his studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and received a Ph.D. degree in 1996.[13] At Cornell, Singhal studied with Gerard Salton, a pioneer in the field of information retrieval, the academic discipline which forms the foundation of modern search. John Battelle, in his book "The Search" calls Gerard Salton "the father of digital search." He got interested in the problem of search in 1990 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. After getting a Ph.D. in 1996, Singhal joined AT&T Labs (previously a part of Bell Labs), where he continued his research in information retrieval, speech retrieval and other related fields.[13]

Career

In 2000, he was recruited by friend Krishna Bharat to join Google.[13] Singhal ran Google's core search quality department where he and his team were responsible for the Google search algorithms. According to New York Times, Singhal was the "master" of Google's ranking algorithm — the formulas that decide which Web pages best answer each user's question.[14] As a reward for his rewrite of the search engine in 2001, Singhal was named a "Google Fellow".[15] Singhal served as the head of Google's core search ranking team[7][8] until his retirement announced on 26 February 2016.[9] It would later transpire that Singhal's departure from Google had occurred after a sexual harassment complaint against him, that an internal review had found "credible".[16]

In 2017, he joined Uber as SVP of Engineering, reporting to CEO Travis Kalanick, and with his fellow Google alum Kevin Thompson operating as SVP of marketplace engineering.[17] He was asked to leave in February 2017 after it emerged that he had not disclosed to Uber the sexual harassment complaint against him that had been responsible for him leaving Google.[16] Singhal's departure from Uber came at a time when Uber was receiving criticism and media attention after allegations by former employee Susan Fowler of a dysfunctional culture of sexual harassment at the company.[18]

Honors and awards

In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[19][20]

Fortune named Singhal one of the smartest people in tech.[21]

In 2011, Singhal was given the Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology Award at The Asian Awards.[22]

He was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Quotes

He writes about the University of Minnesota Duluth:

UMD was the turning point in my life. Studying Information Retrieval with Don Crouch and then Don recommending that I move to Cornell to study with Gerard Salton, is the main reason behind my success today. Don gave me the love for search, I have just followed my passion ever since.[13]

— Amit Singhal

References

  1. ^ "Amit Singhal's journey from Jhansi to Google". CNN-IBN. 4 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Alumni by Year". Cornell University. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Abstract/Details". ProQuest. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "acknowledgements in doctoral thesis of Amit Singhal" (PDF). Cornell University. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "Uber hires former Google search chief Amit Singhal as SVP of Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Uber hires Google search veteran Singhal for senior engineering post". Reuters. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Bloomberg Businessweek's interview with Amit Singhal Archived 17 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b Adams, Tim (2013-01-19). "Google and the future of search: Amit Singhal and the Knowledge Graph". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  9. ^ a b "Amit Singhal, an Influential Engineer at Google, Will Retire". Cornell University. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Search chief Amit Singhal is retiring and being replaced by the firm's leading machine learning expert". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  11. ^ Amitabh Kumar Singhal (1997). Term Weighting Revisited (PhD). Cornell University. hdl:1813/7281. 
  12. ^ "University of Minnesota's page with Amit Singhal biography". Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "University of Minnesota's newsletter. Alumni spotlight - Amit Singhal." (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  14. ^ New York Times article by Saul Hansell
  15. ^ Wired Magazine: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  16. ^ a b Swisher, Kara. "Uber’s SVP of engineering is out after he did not disclose he left Google in a dispute over sexual harassment allegation". Recode. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  17. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "Uber hires former YouTube exec Kevin Thompson as VP of Marketplace Engineering". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  18. ^ Griswold, Alison (27 February 2017). "Uber fired a top engineer for covering up allegations of sexual harassment". Quartz. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  19. ^ http://fellows.acm.org/fellow_citation.cfm?id=3910767&srt=year&year=2011
  20. ^ India Abroad: Top 50 Most Influential Indian Americans - Amit Singhal
  21. ^ The smartest people in tech - Amit Singhal Archived 12 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Home Secretary celebrates Asian Achievement

External links