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The annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing wrapped up last week, and as attendees from all over the world head back to their schools, universities, companies, and organizations, we want to reflect on what our commitment to this Celebration means to Google.

What started as a vision and a blank piece of paper shared between Anita Borg and Telle Whitney over dinner in 1994, has now become the single largest gathering of women in computing. From the first conference in Washington DC with 500 attendees, the Grace Hopper Celebration has grown exponentially to the massive number of over 8,000 attendees this year.

Google has been attending the Grace Hopper Celebration for over a decade, and we are proud to show our long-standing dedication to this conference by partnering at the highest level as a Visionary Platinum Sponsor. Google has been working with the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) since 2004, and Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President of Knowledge, has been a member of the ABI Board of Trustees since 2006. To Google, Grace Hopper is more than a conference, it's an opportunity to invigorate and unite technical women.

20,000 glowsticks lit up the final night’s celebration at Grace Hopper.

We experienced many highlights this year and encouraged attendees to post about their experiences, as they happened using the hashtag #GoogleGHC14. These posts most accurately capture the exhilaration of GHC on-the-ground; excitement over seeing the self-driving car, reunions between interns, chatting with Megan Smith, the new Chief Technology Officer of the United States, and students pleased to demo Cardboard and get their very own to bring home.

Grace Hopper also reminds us of the work we have left to do to welcome future generations of women to the tech field and to retain those already here. GHC serves as a setting for women to share their experiences--and talk honestly about technology--the amazing, the awe-inspiring and even the extremely challenging aspects.

When we talk with faculty on college campuses, they frequently tell us how important the Grace Hopper Celebration is for their students, and that Grace Hopper can often serve as a game-changer for younger students in solidifying their interest in Computer Science. For that reason, Google was proud to sponsor travel scholarships for over 100 students, as well as invite and fund over 200 of our interns to join the celebration at Grace Hopper. These students came from all over the world; as far as Kazakhstan and South Africa. One travel grant recipient, Brianna Fugate, class of 2018 at Spelman College had this to say about her experience at Grace Hopper:

“Thank you so much for the opportunity and grant to attend Grace Hopper. When I share my stories with young girls considering tech I always tell them how important it is to have a strong network of social encouragement. It was an amazing experience to network with so many successful women in tech and gain insight as to what path I should be taking as a woman just beginning her journey in this industry.”

The Grace Hopper Celebration allows women in computing and their allies to connect, develop skills, and become invigorated as we - at Google and in the larger computing community - set our vision for bringing even more women into the technology industry. We can hardly wait for GHC 2015, and hope to see you in Houston!

Posted by Sidnie Davis, University Programs Specialist

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Applications are currently open for the Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities 2015. This scholarship supports talented computer scientists with a disability across Europe by offering 7,000 Euros towards their studies for 2015-16. As part of this commitment, Google has teamed up with EmployAbility, an organization dedicated to assisting disabled and dyslexic students in the transition from education to employment.


We recently caught up with Michael, a student from Russia and 2014 recipient of the Google Scholarship for Students with Disabilities, to hear first-hand about his experience as a Google Scholar:


So Michael, tell us a little about yourself…

I am studying for an undergraduate degree in Information Engineering and Management at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. For me,Computer Science and its subdomain of Software Engineering are fields which offer an intellectual challenge and satisfaction through innovation and problem-solving. I enjoy analysing problems and then designing and implementing applications that solve these problems in the most efficient and elegant way.

Broadly speaking, I am interested in creating and developing new technologies that will improve human life in some tangible form.

What do you think of the application process?

The application process was very clear: you have to write several essays, upload your resume and find two referees who will write letters of recommendation for you. If you are an international student, then you will also need to translate your official documents into English before submitting them with your application.

If at any stage during the preparation of your application you have any queries or problems, don't hesitate to contact the EmployAbility team, they can very quickly help you with any question and they can also give you valuable advice. They helped me several times with my application at the beginning.

In what way(s) has the Scholarship had an impact on your studies?

The scholarship, as recognition from Google and my university, was very important to me. It increased my confidence and encouraged me to continue what I am doing and to work even harder to achieve my goals.

During the course of my studies I wanted to attend some tech conferences. Now, after receiving this scholarship, not only will it be possible for me to attend these conferences, but I can also attend several others.

What tips would you give to someone when it comes to applying?

Start your application process with writing the answers to the essay questions. In writing your essays try to show who you really are, talk about your interests, contributions to open-source projects and commitment to computer science and technology. But don't forget that the Google Scholarship will assess you as a whole person, therefore your leadership skills and achievements are also crucial for this application.

If you are not sure you understand particular questions or any other aspects of the application process, discuss your issues with EmployAbility - they can really help.

Other important pieces of the application package are your recommendation letters. Try to submit your application early and leave enough time for your references to write them for you. It is in your own best interest.

Besides the financial benefit, what else did you gain from the scholarship?

I am extremely grateful to Google for selecting me as a scholarship recipient. It really means a lot to me. This has given me more confidence and understanding of what I can achieve, and has motivated me to continue to work on my projects, make contributions to assistive technology and promote the value and importance of Computer Science among students with disabilities and also encourage them to consider careers in technology.

Did the scholarship influence your thoughts about a career at Google or within the Tech sector?

It certainly did. It made me feel more confident in my abilities and once again confirmed my plan to have a career in the tech industry. I hope to continue to develop my technical breadth and depth while taking on more responsibilities and leadership. By the time I graduate from my university, I’d like to either start a tech company or join a company such as Google, a company that has a disability inclusive and diverse environment made up of smart people who work on innovative products that change the world around us.

What advice would you give to someone who isn’t sure about applying for the scholarship?

If you are not sure whether you should apply or not try to write the answers to essay questions and prepare all the necessary documents. After that you can ask the EmployAbility team to look at your application and judge whether there is enough relevant content and what can be done to improve your application. Even if you are unsuccessful in your scholarship application, you can reapply next year. You have nothing to lose, but you could potentially gain a lot.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2015 Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. Applications close on Thursday, January 1st, 2015, 17:00 GMT.

For questions about the scholarship or your application, please reach out to EmployAbility at googlescholarship@employ-ability.org.uk.

Posted by Efrat Aghassy, EMEA Scholarships Program Manager

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We are very excited to announce that applications for the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship have opened today and university students in EMEA are eligible to apply.


The Google EMEA Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship honors Dr. Anita Borg who devoted her life to encouraging the presence of women in computing. The scholarship is open to current female undergraduate or graduate students who will be studying at a university in Europe, the Middle East or Africa for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Applicants should be enrolled in a Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or closely related technical program and maintain a record of strong academic performance. Recipients of the Scholarship will each receive a € 7,000 (or equivalent) award for the 2015-2016 academic year. As an Anita Borg Scholar, you will participate in a unique program that includes professional development as well as outreach in your community which kicks-off at the Scholars Retreat in Zurich.

We will be accepting applications until Monday, February 2, 2015, 17:00 GMT. Apply today!

For more on Google’s scholarships please visit www.google.com/students/scholarships.

Posted by Efrat Aghassy, EMEA Scholarships Program Manager

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We are excited to announce that applications are now open for 2015 Google scholarships. The application deadlines are in mid January, but don’t wait to get started on your application!

At Google, we believe information should be universally accessible. Our education and scholarship programs aim to inspire and help students become future leaders in computing and technology by breaking down the barriers that prevent them from entering these fields. We are now accepting applications from current university students, undergraduate and graduate, for the following scholarship programs:


Read through these helpful tips before getting started on your application.

Apply!
The first advice is simple: apply! You never know unless you apply - don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

What we look for
When evaluating scholarship applications, we are especially interested in the following qualities: passion for and commitment to computer science, technical accomplishments, leadership and involvement in your community, and academic achievements. Keep these in mind as you fill out your application.

Work on your resume
Be sure to update your resume, as it is an important component of the application that helps us understand your interest and accomplishments in computer science. Google has some tips for preparing your technical resume here. Your university’s career center may also be a helpful resource.

Be descriptive and call out your accomplishments
Don’t be shy when it comes to describing your accomplishments. We often come across applications where the applicant has worked on an amazing project or has great leadership experience, yet barely mentions this in their application! While we evaluate an applicant on all components of the application (i.e., resume, references, transcript, and essays), we want to know what’s important to you, and we encourage you to call out the accomplishments that you are proud of.

The essays matter
The essays help us to get to know you better and they hold a lot of weight in the review process. We read through many applications and what we remember most is the quality of the essays. Read the questions carefully and answer each component of the question, as they’re designed to help us evaluate your application based on the criteria we look for. Trust us, someone who has put a lot of time and effort into their essay questions stands out above the rest!

Proofread
Though this may sound simple, you may be surprised at the number of grammatical and spelling errors that we find in our application pool. You wouldn’t be ruled out for a typo, but a well-polished application does say something about the effort you put in filling it out.

Be mindful of deadlines--both for yourself and for your references
Don’t miss out just because the deadline slipped your mind! Mark your calendars and be sure to submit your application on time. Likewise, give your references ample time to write a recommendation and remind them about the approaching deadline to ensure your application is complete.

For more information on all scholarship programs, please visit the Google Scholarships site.




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We are excited to announce that professor registration for the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC 2015) is now open.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge, now in its eighth year, is an annual global online marketing competition for students from higher education institutions around the world. Student teams develop and run an online advertising campaign using Google AdWords and/or Google+ for a real business or non-profit organization of their choice, using a US $250 budget provided by Google. An independent GOMC Panel of Academics, along with our own team, review the campaigns and select winning teams based on the success of their campaign and the quality of their competition reports.

Why GOMC?
  • GOMC provides a unique, hands-on learning experience by integrating a real-world business partner and budget into the classroom.
  • Students get a chance to support their local community by working with a non-profit, and the opportunity to win donations from a total pool of US $30,000.
  • GOMC enables professors to provide their students with an engaging and innovative in-class experience, which provides real-world impact and grading material.
  • Great prizes for global and regional winners of the challenge, including trips to Google offices, digital devices and more.

To learn about the impact of GOMC on the lives of students and academics, check out this recent video:


What’s next?
In order for a student team to participate in the competition, they need to have their Professor register first. Professors can register from Oct 8th, 2014 until April 8th, 2015, and students from October 15th, 2014 until April 22nd, 2015.

For more information, please visit www.google.com/onlinechallenge. To stay informed about GOMC, add our Google+ Page to your circles: google.com/+googleonlinemarketingchallenge.

Here’s your chance to make a global impact!

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At Google, we’re passionate about introducing students to open source software development. Since 2005, the Open Source Programs team at Google has worked with over 10,000 students and over 485 open source projects in a variety of fields to create more code for us all.

For students ages 13-17 interested in writing code that could make a difference in the world, we're excited to tell you about a program designed to introduce you to open source software development: Google Code-in.


December 1, 2014 kicks off the fifth consecutive year of this international, online contest designed to introduce pre-university students to the world of open source development. Open source projects are about more than just coding, and this contest highlights a variety of ways to contribute to open source projects.

You might be thinking to yourself:
  • What is open source?
  • What types of work do open source projects do?
  • I’ve only taken one computer science class, can I contribute to an open source project?
  • I’m not really into coding, how else can I contribute to open source?
  • I’ve never participated in open source or an online contest before, can someone help guide me?
  • Open source sounds fun, how can I get started?

If you’ve wondered about any of these questions and are a pre-university student (age 13-17) then we hope you'll join in the fun and excitement of the Google Code-in contest starting Monday, December 1st.

For seven weeks from early December to mid January, the Google Code-in contest will have students working with up to 12 selected open source projects on a variety of tasks. The different categories of tasks that students will be able to work on include:
  1. Code: writing or refactoring
  2. Documentation/Training: creating/editing documents and helping others learn more
  3. Outreach/research: community management, outreach/marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions
  4. Quality Assurance: testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  5. User Interface: user experience research or user interface design and interaction
For more details on how you can sign up and participate, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Google Code-in site. On November 12, we'll also announce the open source organizations that will be participating in the contest.

We look forward to welcoming hundreds of students from around the world into the open source family again this year, and hope you'll be a part of it.


Posted by Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

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The annual Grace Hopper Conference is just a few days away! Before the festivities officially kick off, we’re shining the spotlight on several Google Women Engineers (GWEs) who have been nominated by Googlers for the great work that they do and the contributions they have made as women in the tech industry.

For our last spotlight, we’re featuring Emily Bernier.


Can you share with us your role at Google?
I joined Google Cambridge in February 2013 as a software engineer on the Android for Education team. I have a dual background in developmental psychology and computer science, so I was psyched to have the chance to combine both interests.

My team is tackling the thorny problem of making an effective, easy-to-use tablet solution for schools. I write code across many different pieces of the Android OS; one of my first projects was writing a tool to let IT admins and teachers quickly set up hundreds or thousands of tablets by passing configuration information via NFC. Doing things at Google-scale is pretty awe-inspiring; there’s nothing quite like seeing a random teacher use an app you’ve created, or knowing that schools across the country are using code you wrote (eeee!). When I’m not coding, I work with our product management and UX teams on some of our difficult big-picture questions, and visit schools and ed-tech conferences to learn more about the growing role of technology in learning.

What do you enjoy most about being a woman in tech (or at Google specifically)?
I spend a fair amount of time with our student outreach and recruiting teams. Google is hugely committed to supporting diversity in tech and engineering, and to growing the next generation of computer scientists. Numbers we published earlier this year demonstrate how far these efforts have to go, but the creativity and enthusiasm of everyone working in this space is pretty inspiring.

What are you looking forward to most at the Grace Hopper Conference?
I’m super excited to attend the Grace Hopper Conference for the first time, and to meet more of the brilliant, phenomenal women of the computing community!

To follow the fun at Grace Hopper, check out Google Students on Google+ and Twitter using our #GoogleGHC14 hashtag.