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Join Google Cloud Research Innovators to accelerate scientific projects

December 8, 2021
Nicole DeSantis

Research Marketing Manager, Google Cloud

Researchers using Google Cloud are invited to apply for the second cohort of the Research Innovators program. In December 2020 Google Cloud launched the Research Innovators program to help established and next generation researchers advance scientific breakthroughs through the latest cloud technologies. By providing access to Google Cloud and Google specialists, the program seeks to speed up new discoveries, increase collaboration, and deepen support for researchers. Now in its second year, the Research Innovators program will offer more frequent networking opportunities for participants and specialized tracks to encourage cross-disciplinary work in genomics, sustainability, and social impact projects. Applications for the second cohort opened on November 22, 2021.

Bringing the cloud to the clouds

The inaugural cohort of 33 Google Cloud Research Innovators, spanning 30 institutions and eight countries across both industry and academia, are addressing some of the most urgent scientific challenges facing our world today. One of our Researcher Innovators, Dr. Tapio Schneider, a Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and the Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at CalTech, is using Google Cloud’s vast computational resources to improve large-scale Earth system models. His team’s Climate Machine leverages recent advances in the computational and data sciences to learn directly from a wealth of Earth observations from space and the ground. The Climate Machine will harness more data than ever before, providing a new level of accuracy to predictions of droughts, heat waves, and rainfall extremes.

Applying machine learning to identify social inequalities

Dr. Teodora Szasz, Computational Scientist at the University of Chicago, is another Research Innovator using Google’s cloud solutions to tackle urgent social issues. Using AutoML’s machine-learning capabilities to identify and categorize images, she and a team at the MiiE (Messages, Identity, and Inclusion in Education) Lab are measuring the changing representation of race, gender, and age in children’s books over the last century. Their work shows that while diversity in representation has improved, inequalities persist, which impacts how children learn about society and social norms.

“Images are important to children even before they can read,” Dr. Szasz explains. “If they can recognize themselves in characters then they can imagine themselves in different futures.” The MiiE team moved their research to Google Cloud “because it’s easy to work with millions of files and load them into AutoML,” she says. “We could develop a model in one day that’s optimized for our needs, and I can trust that it won’t break. Google Cloud offers infrastructure built for scaling and efficiency. Without it, this work would take much longer.” The Research Innovators program, she adds, put her in touch with colleagues at other institutions using similar tools, so they could learn from each other. “The program goes beyond Google,” she says. It has helped her achieve results faster--which in turn makes publishing and funding easier--and helps this work get the attention it deserves.

Reaching out to tomorrow’s innovators

With access to Google experts and support from peers, Research Innovators are able to fast-track their research for real-world impact. They receive additional Google Cloud academic research credits, support to share their work, speaking opportunities, complimentary admission to Google conferences, and more.

You can discover more about the current Research Innovators and their projects here. To pursue this unique opportunity, apply by January 14, 2022. To get started with Google Cloud, apply for free credits towards your research.

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