Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page, a Ph.D. student at Stanford. In search for a dissertation theme, Page consideredamong other thingsexploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph. His supervisor Terry Winograd encouraged him to pick this idea (which Page later recalled as "the best advice I ever got") and Page focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks to be valuable information about that page (with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind). In his research project, nicknamed "BackRub", he was soon joined by Sergey Brin, a fellow Stanford Ph.D. student and close friend, whom he had first met in the summer of 1995 in a group of potential new students which Brin had volunteered to show around the campus. Page's web crawler began exploring the web in March 1996, setting out from Page'