Older Material


Google’s Hybrid Approach to Research

Alfred Spector, Peter Norvig, Slav Petrov

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 55 No. 7, Pages 34-37

July 2012

In this viewpoint, we describe how we organize computer science research at Google. We focus on how we integrate research and development and discuss the benefits and risks of our approach. The challenge in organizing R&D is great because CS is an increasingly broad and diverse field…

Google’s Hybrid Approach to Research (online text and references only)

Google’s Hybrid Approach to Research (in CACM, July 2012)


Thoughts on Software-Related Offshoring

Dr. Alfred Z. Spector

October 2006

Presentation to NAE Offshoring of Engineering Workshop

In this viewpoint, we describe how we organize computer science research at Google. We focus on how we integrate research and development and discuss the benefits and risks of our approach. The challenge in organizing R&D is great because CS is an increasingly broad and diverse field…

Thoughts on Software-Related Offshoring – online slides

Thoughts on Software-Related Offshoring – PDF

Book Chapter: in The Offshoring of Engineering: Facts, Unknowns, and Potential Implications:  Software-Related Offshoring


Research on the Edge of the Expanding Sphere

Dr. Alfred Z. Spector

November 2004

Presentation to
Harvard Center for Research on Computation and Society

The research objectives of computer science have grown explosively since the field’s inception: Much growth has been in the core of the field in such topics as algorithms, compilers, exploitation of parallelism, operating systems, and effective natural language
processing (among many others). However, the field has also grown into entirely new domains: word processing, computer-mediated human collaboration, and business process modeling and integration, among many others.

This talk will focus on the great growth that will continue to occur on the edge of the expanding sphere of information technology-based systems. Opportunities in healthcare, organizational and process optimization, collaboration, and advanced business models (to name a few) will generate huge opportunities in computer science itself and in
collaborative research between computer science and other disciplines.  I’ll discuss some of the implications on research agendas including due focus on society’s needs. If successful, our research and associated developments based on it will allow information
technology to continue grow in value for a very long time to come.

Research on the Edge of the Expanding Sphere – PDF

Research on the Edge of the Expanding Sphere (Excerpt) – PDF


Andrew Project Video

CMU Information Technology Center

April 1998

This video was made in April 1988 at the Information Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. It summarizes the Andrew project collaboration between CMU and IBM as of that date. It features opening remarks by Allen Newell, who chaired the university-wide committee that recommended the campus-wide initiative that led to the Andrew Project and Jim Morris, the founding director of the Information Technology Center that created Andrew, and closing comments by myself, then the director of the Information Technology Center.   It includes overviews of the Andrew File System (Michael Kazar, presenting), the Andrew Toolkit (Andrew Palay, presenting), and the Andrew Messaging System (Jonathan Rosenberg, presenting). The video was written by Nathaniel Borenstein, directed by Maria Wadlow and Jim Kocher, and produced by The Information Technology Center.

Andrew Project Video