Academics November 20 2018

A Google engineer with six years of professional experience is teaching classes, sharing insights with students and trade ideas with faculty as part of the Google in Residence program which debuted at Xavier University of Louisiana this semester.

Google in Residence Program Places Veteran Engineer at Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans LA – A Google engineer with six years of professional experience is teaching classes, sharing insights with students and trade ideas with faculty as part of the Google in Residence program which debuted at Xavier University of Louisiana this semester. 

Launched in 2013, the Google in Residence program aims to improve diversity in the tech industry by embedding engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Expanding the pool of technologists is core to Google’s strategy to have representation of minority Googlers in the United States reach or exceed the available talent pool at all levels of the company. It’s one way the company is looking to attract and hire more diverse Googlers to truly reflect the diversity of their users.

Aaron Gable usually leads a group of eight engineers, mostly in San Francisco, working on the Chrome web browser, providing tools to other software engineers to help them get their jobs done better, faster, and easier, but has taken a leave of absence and is now leading undergraduate computer science courses at Xavier. He is also holding regular office hours and evening prep sessions where he meets one-on-one and with small groups of students interview-level problems and learn new problem-solving techniques.
 
He has also been instrumental in the strong showing of student teams at technology competitions, including the recent Atlanta Hackathon at which four groups took home two first place, one second place, and one third place awards while competing against representatives from five other HBCUs (Dillard, Spellman, Morehouse, Alabama A&M, and Fisk).

In the “Project” category, where the students had to conceive, design, implement, and present a fully-fledged application, Team XavierBytes (consisting of Winston Parris, Derrick Mullins, Jeffrey Boudreaux, Haaris Hussain, and Matthew Martinez) took first place with their Android app for taking and categorizing class notes. A second group, Team Notorious B.U.G. (consisting of Kara Herbert, Marcus Evans, Joaquim Mitchell, Grace Braden, and Ronald Hickerson) took third place

In the "Coding Challenge" category, where the teams – consisting of only first- and second-year students – were required to solve a collection of difficult coding challenges, trying to solve as many as they can, as quickly as they can, Team Bekfast Club (made up of Makhi Austin, Jag Jennings, Eric Irikannu, Sydney Beasley, and Brynn Jones) also took first place. A second team, Team 504 Not Found (made up of Arianna Johnson, Kaycee Tate, Olivia Asemota, and Jada Burton) took second place in the category.

“Xavier has a proud history of excelling in the sciences, and computer science is no exception,” .said Gable, who joined Google in 2012. “In the last few years, the number of Xavier students entering the tech industry either as interns or after graduation has exploded. I am glad for the change to continue this tradition by introducing another generation of students to computer science and software engineering, and working to make sure that everyone of all races, genders, and backgrounds can find their opportunities.”
 

While every discipline has key fundamentals students must master, the speed at which technology is advancing requires that professionals in that field constantly stay ahead of the curve,” said Dr. Anne McCall, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier. “We are looking forward to the examples and experiences Aaron brings to our computer science department and the value of those perspectives to the education of our students”.

While Google has made strides in improving the diversity of early pipeline talent – this year, its summer internship program welcomed the largest-ever cohort from underrepresented backgrounds, with 49 percent of Google’s global interns identifying as Black, Latinx and/or women – the company knows it’s important to continue to invest in tomorrow’s talent, which is why programs like Google in Residence continue to be critical to making the tech industry more diverse.