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The News Gatherer

For those who know it well, Google News is among the largest news services online, gathering content from more than 4,500 sources. And, while the creation of these stories requires the effort of thousands of professionals, the organization and display of stories on Google News is managed entirely by computer programs.

Credit for this goes to an Indian- American scientist called Krishna Bharat, a Principal Scientist at Google. What makes Bharat's contribution so pathbreaking is the role he has created for himself at Google.

'Following September 11, I realized it would be useful to see news reporting from multiple sources on a given topic assembled in one place. The process of reading one newspaper after another and
In 2003 this computer scientist won the World Technology Award for Media & Journalism. A year later, he founded Google's R&D operations in India and served as the center's first director.
Photo: Google
selecting related stories seemed to be something that could be best accomplished through automation, so we built the news specific crawling and clustering system that subsequently became Google News,' Bharat said in response to questions submitted by readers of the Google Friends newsletter.

His efforts warrant mention in the book The Google Story, by David Vise and Mark Malseed, which many view as the most comprehensive book about the company so far.

Bharat, who specializes in user interface and algorithmic support for Web research and content analysis, grew up in Bangalore. He received an engineering degree in computer science from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, then went on to receive his PhD from Georgia Tech on Human Computer Interaction.

He has served on the program committees of UIST (User Interface Software and Technology), the premier forum for innovations in the software and technology of human-computer interfaces, and has been a reviewer for WWW Conference. Consider Google's growth, and the millions who log on. Then, the next time you look for a news story, you can put a human face to it.