As much as he loved being Goldy Gopher during his time at the University, Jeffrey Dean (CSci ’90) knew his future career probably wouldn’t involve being a costumed mascot.
His future did, however, hinge on two important people he met at the University: his wife, Heidi Hopper (Psych ’90) whom he met as a freshman, and Vipin Kumar, his undergraduate thesis advisor.
Kumar introduced him to the wonders of parallel computation and large-scale computing, topics that have served Dean well in his career as a software engineer. He joined Google in 1999 and masterminded many of the behind-the-scenes products that have helped the company dominate the Internet. He is currently a Google Senior Fellow in the Knowledge Group.
“We both thoroughly enjoyed our time at the University, and are grateful to the many great professors who taught and advised us,” he said.
To express their gratitude, Dean and Hopper established the Hopper-Dean Scholarship Honoring Dr. Vipin Kumar. The $500,000 gift qualifies for Fast Start 4 Impact funding and will receive an additional $50,000 over four years for student support.
“This scholarship is intended to support other students to find their own wonders in the paths of their undergraduate education and research,” Dean said.