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Google Speaks: Secrets of the World's Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page by Janet Lowe

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Chapter 10. Good Citizen Google

Google has a rich list of corporate, volunteer, and philanthropic programs designed to make the world a better place. Some of the beneficial projects reside within or come out of Google search. For example, based on the number of searches for flu and cold medicine, Google has helped identify parts of the world experiencing flu epidemics. Google maps strive to help people find their way around many cities on foot, by bicycle, or via the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Google has numerous programs specifically targeted to better education, particularly in science. These are a few of the activities:

  • The Summer of Code is a three-month, $2 million program for computer science students. Google offers student developers stipends to write code for various open-source projects. In 2008, the company partnered with 174 open-source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects. Nearly 7,100 proposals were received, of which 1,125 were selected. While Google uses the event to look for promising recruits, the purpose is not recruiting. It is to develop a new array of open-source coding.

  • In October 2006, together with LitCam and UNESCO's Institute for Lifelong Learning, Google launched the Literacy Project, offering resources for teachers, literacy groups, and anyone interested in promoting reading.

  • Google gives the Anita Borg Scholarship to outstanding women studying computer science in the United States, Canada, Australia, ...

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