Jeff Dean
Dean (2019)
Born (1968-07-23) July 23, 1968 (age 55)
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota, B.S. Computer Science and Engineering (1990)
University of Washington, Ph.D. Computer Science (1996)
Known forMapReduce, Bigtable, Spanner, TensorFlow
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Technology
InstitutionsGoogle; Digital Equipment Corporation
ThesisWhole-program optimization of object-oriented languages (1996)
Doctoral advisorCraig Chambers

Jeffrey Adgate "Jeff" Dean (born July 23, 1968) is an American computer scientist and software engineer. Since 2018, he has been the lead of Google AI.[1] He was appointed Alphabet's chief scientist in 2023 after a reorganization of Alphabet's AI focused groups.[2]


Dean received a B.S., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in computer science and economics in 1990.[3] He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Washington in 1996, working under Craig Chambers on compilers[4] and whole-program optimization techniques for object-oriented programming languages.[5] He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009, which recognized his work on "the science and engineering of large-scale distributed computer systems".[6]


Before joining Google, Dean worked at DEC/Compaq's Western Research Laboratory,[7] where he worked on profiling tools, microprocessor architecture and information retrieval.[8] Much of his work was completed in close collaboration with Sanjay Ghemawat.[9][4]

Before graduate school, he worked at the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS, developing software for statistical modeling and forecasting of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.[8]

Dean joined Google in mid-1999, and was appointed the head of its Artificial Intelligence division in April 2018.[10] While at Google, he designed and implemented large portions of the company's advertising, crawling, indexing and query serving systems, along with various pieces of the distributed computing infrastructure that underlies most of Google's products.[4] At various times, he has also worked on improving search quality, statistical machine translation and internal software development tools and has had significant involvement in the engineering hiring process.

The projects Dean has worked on include:

He was an early member of Google Brain,[4] a team that studies large-scale artificial neural networks, and he has headed artificial intelligence efforts since they were split from Google Search.[11]

Dean was the subject of controversy when the ethics in AI researcher, Timnit Gebru, challenged Google's research review process, ultimately leading to her departure from the company. Dean responded by publishing a letter on Google's approach to the research process[12] that was the subject of further criticism and controversy.[13]


Dean and his wife, Heidi Hopper, started the Hopper-Dean Foundation and began making philanthropic grants in 2011. In 2016, the foundation gave $2 million each to UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Washington, Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University to support programs that promote diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).[14]

Personal life

Dean is married and has two daughters.[4]

Awards and honors


Dean was interviewed for the 2018 book Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building it by the American futurist Martin Ford.[18]

Major publications

See also


  1. ^ Vincent, James (April 3, 2018). "Google veteran Jeff Dean takes over as company's AI chief". The Verge. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  2. ^ Elias, Jennifer (April 20, 2023). "Read the internal memo Alphabet sent in merging A.I.-focused groups DeepMind and Google Brain". CNBC. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  3. ^ "Jeff Dean".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Friendship That Made Google Huge". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "STANFORD TALKS; Jeff Dean: TensorFlow Overview and Future Directions". Stanford University. January 21, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Jeff Dean elected to National Academy of Engineering". UW CSE News. University of Washington. February 5, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
    - "Jeffrey A Dean - Award Winner". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Metz, Cade (August 8, 2008). "If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet". Wired. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Jeff Dean". Speakerpedia. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Metz, Cade (August 8, 2012). "If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet". Wired. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Anmol (May 8, 2018). "Google Consolidates AI and Machine Learning Research Efforts Under Rebranded Google AI". Beebom. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  11. ^ D'Onfro, Jillian (April 2, 2018). "Google is splitting A.I. into its own business unit and shaking up its search leadership". CNBC. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Dean, Jeff (December 3, 2020). "About Google's approach to research publication". Google. Retrieved December 5, 2020 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Ghaffray, Shirin (December 4, 2020). "The controversy behind a star Google AI researcher's departure". Vox. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  14. ^ "$1M Hopper-Dean Foundation Gift for Diversity in CS". UC Berkeley. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
    - Williams, Tate (August 10, 2016). "One of Google's Top Programmers Has Made STEM Diversity a Philanthropic Cause". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
    - "$1 million gift to support diversity in STEM education". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  15. ^ ACM-Infosys Foundation Award
  16. ^ "The Mark Weiser Award". ACM SIGOPS. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  17. ^ Newly Elected Members, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, April 2016, retrieved April 20, 2016
  18. ^ Ford, Marin (2018). Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building it. Packt Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9781789131260.