Amit Singhal

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Amit Singhal
Born September 1968 (age 50)
Fields Information retrieval
Alma mater Cornell University (PhD,1996)
University of Minnesota (MS,1991)
IIT Roorkee (BS,1989)
Thesis Term weighting revisited (1997)
Doctoral advisor Claire Cardie[2][3]
Gerard Salton [4]
Notable awards Member of NAE
ACM Fellow

Amitabh Kumar "Amit" Singhal (born 1968/9) is senior vice president and software engineer at Google Inc., a Google Fellow, and was the head of Google's core ranking team.[5][6] He retired February 26, 2016 from Head of Google Search.[7][8]


Born in Jhansi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India,[9] Singhal received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from IIT Roorkee in 1989.[10] He continued his computer science education in the United States, and received an M.S. degree from University of Minnesota Duluth in 1991.[11]

Singhal continued his studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and received a Ph.D. degree in 1996.[11] At Cornell, Singhal studied with Gerard Salton, a pioneer in the field of information retrieval, the academic discipline which forms the foundation of modern search. John Battelle, in his book "The Search" calls Gerard Salton "the father of digital search." He got interested in the problem of search in 1990 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. After getting a Ph.D. in 1996, Singhal joined AT&T Labs (previously a part of Bell Labs), where he continued his research in information retrieval, speech retrieval and other related fields.[11]

Works at Google

In 2000, he was persuaded by his friend Krishna Bharat to join Google.[11] Singhal runs Google's core search quality department. He and his team are responsible for the Google search algorithms. According to New York Times, Singhal is the master of what Google calls its "ranking algorithm" — the formulas that decide which Web pages best answer each user's question.[12]

As a reward for his rewrite of the search engine in 2001, Singhal was named a "Google Fellow".[13]

Honors and awards

In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[14][15]

Fortune named Singhal one of the smartest people in tech.[16]

In 2011, Singhal was given the Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology Award at The Asian Awards.[17]

He was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering.


He writes about the University of Minnesota Duluth:

"UMD was the turning point in my life. Studying Information Retrieval with Don Crouch and then Don recommending that I move to Cornell to study with Gerard Salton, is the main reason behind my success today. Don gave me the love for search, I have just followed my passion ever since."[11]

— Amit Singhal


  1. "Amit Singhal's journey from Jhansi to Google". CNN-IBN. 4 February 2016. 
  2. "Alumni by Year". Cornell University. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  3. "Abstract/Details". ProQuest. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  4. "acknowledgements in doctoral thesis of Amit Singhal" (PDF). Cornell University. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 
  5. Bloomberg Businessweek's interview with Amit Singhal
  6. Adams, Tim (2013-01-19). "Google and the future of search: Amit Singhal and the Knowledge Graph". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  7. "Amit Singhal, an Influential Engineer at Google, Will Retire". Cornell University. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 
  8. "Search chief Amit Singhal is retiring and being replaced by the firm's leading machine learning expert". Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  9. Amitabh Kumar Singhal (1997). Term Weighting Revisited (PhD). Cornell University. hdl:1813/7281. 
  10. "University of Minnesota's page with Amit Singhal biography". Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 "University of Minnesota's newsletter. Alumni spotlight - Amit Singhal.". Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  12. New York Times article by Saul Hansell
  13. Wired Magazine: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  15. India Abroad: Top 50 Most Influential Indian Americans - Amit Singhal
  16. The smartest people in tech - Amit Singhal
  17. Home Secretary celebrates Asian Achievement

External links