Search engine pioneer speaks at Olin

Google’s Anna Patterson, WUSTL alumna, speaks at Simon Hall 

Anna Patterson, PhD, director of Google Research and a 1987 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, returns to campus at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, as guest speaker co-sponsored by Olin Business School and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.


The event, in May Auditorium, Simon Hall, is open to students, but registration is required at (314) 935-8001 or through e-mail at by noon Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Patterson, who earned both bachelor of science degrees in computer science and in electrical engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1987, helped revolutionize Internet search engines. A native of St. Louis, she was a Washington University Langsdorf Scholar and served as Engineering Student Council president. She is a member of the School of Engineering National Council.

Patterson earned a doctorate in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In 2004, Patterson joined Google after designing, writing and eventually selling Recall, the largest search engine in existence at the time with 12 billion pages. She was the architect of Google’s large search index, TeraGoogle.

Patterson left Google in 2006 to create (Irish for “knowledge,” pronounced “cool”). launched in July 2008 and became the largest search engine available, with the capability to search more than 120 billion web pages. In September 2010, the site shut down and Patterson returned to Google as director of Google Research.