Larry Page and Sergey Brin were graduate students at Stanford University working on their doctoral degrees when they developed the algorithm for the Internet search engine, “Google.” Stanford held the intellectual property rights to the algorithm until the company paid the University handsomely for those rights. Page’s father was a professor of computer science at Michigan State University and his mother also worked in computer science.  Brin’s parents, who were Jewish, emigrated to the United States in 1979 to escape persecution.  His father was a mathematician economist.  In the tradition of Stanford and its influence on the development of Silicon Valley, the “Google boys” have built one of the largest and most successful computer software companies in the world.  Page invented a method called PageRank, which was patented by the Trustees of Stanford University in September 2001.  It was a way of calculating the popularity and relevance of Web pages based upon the number of links to it from other webpages. The market capitalization of Google in 2006 well exceeded $100 billion.

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