Georges Harik, one of Google’s first 10 employees, held the roles of director of Googlettes and distinguished engineer. As director of Googlettes, his team was responsible for the product management and strategy efforts surrounding many nascent Google initiatives including Gmail, Google Talk, Google Video, Picasa, Orkut, Google Groups and Google Mobile. As a distinguished engineer, Georges was the co-developer of the targeting technology behind AdSense, the first engineering manager of the Google Search Appliance, and the co-author of the original product plan for the AdWords Online system. Georges has also contributed to numerous patents covering Google’s search engine and advertising networks and served several years as one of three members Google’s initial engineering hiring committee, which oversaw the hiring of Google’s first few hundred engineers.
Georges’ technical background is in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Prior to his work life, Georges received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he focused on mathematical models of genetic algorithms, programs that evolve to solve problems, that are inspired by natural processes. While at the University of Illinois as a research associate, Georges co-invented the first highly accurate technique for estimating the time complexity of genetic algorithms, published in the paper “The Gambler’s Ruin Problem, Genetic Algorithms, and the Sizing of Populations.” Subsequently, Georges published one of the seminal papers in the field of optimization using probabilistic modeling “Linkage Learning via Probabilistic Modeling in the ECGA”. He then worked at SGI, as a developer of MineSet, a data mining product. At Google, Georges was a co-inventor and co-developer of two very large scale parallel machine learning programs that are used in numerous systems such as AdSense targeting and the spam filter in Gmail.
Georges is currently an angel investor and an advisor to various startups focusing on the areas of internet applications, machine learning, advertising technologies and biotechnology. He is also a founder of imo.im and a co-founder of www.hslabs.org, an open source artificial intelligence research lab.