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Sergey Brin was born in a Jewish family in Moscow, on 21st of August, 1973. His mother Eugenia and father Michael gained education at Moscow State University. Brin, his parents and grandmother were living in the center of the city in a large three-room apartment.
However, they had to experience some restrictions as well. Soviet Union with its anti-Semitic tendencies made the life of Jewish people pretty complicated. The government constantly prevented Jewish youth from enrolling in universities. What is more, because of discrimination, a lot of educated and talented people, including Michael Brin, had no opportunity to pursue careers of their dream. Michael was a physicist and hoped that he could become a part of physics department in Moscow. These were the years of the Cold War, and scientists were working on various projects connected with development of weapons, and especially – nuclear weapons. However, very soon Michael Brin realized that he doesn’t have any chances, because the Communist Party excluded Jews from any activity of that kind. So he decided to go into mathematics.
Michael Brin took part is a large Polish math conference in 1977 and this event gave him the green light in many senses. He had an access to the international intellectual community and decided that the time has come to move away from Soviet Union. Next year, the family applied for an exit visa, but the government gave a radical response. Both Michael and his wife were fired from their jobs and suffered from financial difficulties for a couple of months. They couldn’t find even a part-time job and Michael decided to learn computer programming. Later Sergey would say that these years in Moscow, where the government was repressing people just because they were Jewish, made him a rebellious person and formed his temper.
Finally, the exit visas were approved and family moved to Maryland in 1979. Sergey was a student of the Paint Branch Montessori School, and then he attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School. In 1990, he entered a University of Maryland and started studying math and computer science. The first launch of the Internet happened in 1991, when Brin was a student of this university.
The first brilliant ideas
A couple of years later, Brin received a fellowship from National Science Foundation and continued his studying at Stanford University in California. He met Larry Page there and they became friends at once. Brin was pursuing a degree in Computer Science and his main focus was data-mining systems developing. At the same time, Page was interested in a question about quantitative means that determine credibility of an academic work that was cited in other works. Actually, data-mining and ranking algorithms that determine value of information evoked the ideas that underlined their future invention – the most powerful search engine in the world. Brin and Page realized that they can create a more advanced search tool, than those that were already available on the web, because they understood that not all pages are the same. Some of them are better and more useful than the others.
To implement these ideas in life, they decided to start a project of Stanford Digital Library, which was meant to be universal and digital. The same year (1996), a couple of young developers created BackRub, their first search engine. They gained a lot of experience during these projects and composed an article Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine together. The ideas and thoughts written in this paper served as a fundament of another project, the one that we all know. It was Google. They used Stanford’s network to test their inventions and released the first version in 1996. The first version was available for the users of Stanford network only, but they were so excited by the product that it gained extreme popularity. Brin and Page had to involve additional servers to support the program, because the amount of users became enormous very soon. When they were working on supplementary servers, the Internet had no more than 35 million users.