Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just in time for our discussion today: Google comes to Madison

The new online Capital Times reports that Google has arrived in Madison:

Google has been running a lab just off the Capitol Square, at 10 E. Doty St., since October. Representatives of Google said the company has signed a lease for an office at 301 S. Blount, just off Williamson Street, and plans to move into that space in the fall.

Google representatives would not comment on other specifics, including how many employees work at the facility, but the company did provide The Capital Times with a release that stated: "We are opening an office in Madison because the city offers an excellent quality of life, a deep local talent pool and commitment to education at all levels, including the University of Wisconsin."


Google's engineering office in Madison will be directed by Jim Laudon, who received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the UW in the mid-1980s. Laudon was not available for comment.

Another prominent member of the Google lab in Madison will be Jim Smith, who recently stopped teaching as a professor of both computer sciences, and electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison. Smith's research area was in computer architecture, a UW-Madison specialty.

"After Jim Smith stopped being a professor (in the summer of 2007), Google wanted to hire him," said Guri Sohi, the chair of the UW-Madison computer science department who collaborated with Smith for many years. "But he wasn't willing to move to California, so Google basically said they'd start a site in Madison for Jim. And then they found some other people to run it with him."

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