The on-wiki version of this newsletter can be found here:
We are very happy to share that Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia will
be supported by a Google.org
Fellowship. Let’s first introduce Google.org
and the Fellowship program in their own words:
*About Google.org* Google.org
, Google's philanthropic arm, supports
nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven
innovation to solving the world's biggest challenges. They accelerate
progress by connecting nonprofits with a unique blend of support that
includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers.
They engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact
on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to
produce meaningful change. Google.org
wants a world that works for
everyone—and they believe technology and innovation can move the needle.
*Google.org Fellowship* The Google.org
Fellowship enables Googlers to
complete up to 6 months of full-time pro bono technical work to accelerate
the social impact of nonprofits and civic entities. Fellows, including
engineers, product managers, UX researchers, and designers, roll up their
sleeves alongside the organization’s staff to help build open-source
solutions and equip the organization to maintain and implement these
solutions long after the Fellowship ends. Each year, 50+ Googlers provide
50,000+ hours of pro bono services assisting organizations to build
solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges.
For nine months, up to ten Google.org
Fellows will be supporting the
Abstract Wikipedia and Wikifunctions team. Most of their focus will be on
the backend of Wikifunctions: in other words, they will work towards making
the evaluation of functions far more efficient. This will enable
Wikifunctions to grow without immediately overwhelming the computing
resources we have available at the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Fellows will also work on a few other projects about which we will
share updates in the weeks and months to come. We will also publish a
detailed report in the end about the impact and the results of the work.
Several Fellows will start their work in April this month, and we’ll bring
on others to begin work in July.
As with all of our work, the work of the Fellows will be open source and
developed in the open, using our usual workflows and tools. The Fellows
will work under the direction of the Wikimedia Foundation, and will, during
the time of the Fellowship, interact with the community and others just
like every other employee or contractor.
The contributions of the Fellows are expected to allow us to launch sooner
and scale Wikifunctions much faster than we would otherwise be able to.
This also will allow us to focus on Abstract Wikipedia sooner than we had
expected over the last year, and thus ultimately speed up to deliver on our
mission of allowing more people to share knowledge in more languages.
In the following, we let the Fellows introduce themselves in their own
*Ali Assaf, Software Engineer Fellow* (Apr.-Sep. 2022) *Location*: Zurich,
Switzerland Ali (he/him) has worked for more than 6 years as a software
engineer at Google Zurich, developing backend infrastructure for YouTube.
His work enables creators and partners to deliver content at scale. The cat
videos must flow! Before that, he was doing graduate studies in theoretical
computer science in Paris, on the subject of logic and computer-assisted
theorem proving. Although he completed his PhD, his quest for the ultimate
proof language is still incomplete. Ali grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, at the
intersection of cultures, languages, and beliefs. He is passionate about
education and access to information, and considers Wikipedia to be one of
the top 3 most important websites in the world.
*Ariel Gutman, Software Engineer Fellow* (May-Oct. 2022) *Location*:
Zurich, Switzerland Ariel (he/him) defended his PhD thesis at the
University of Konstanz in 2016, where he was researching Neo-Aramaic
dialects as an associate fellow of the Zukunftskolleg interdisciplinary
institute. His curriculum includes a master's degree in Linguistics awarded
by the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and a master's degree in computer
Science awarded by the École Normale Supérieure, following a B.Sc. from the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has conducted fieldwork on Neo-Aramaic
in France and Israel, as well as fieldwork on an Austronesian language in
West Papua, Indonesia. He has published numerous articles about Neo-Aramaic
and Language Acquisition. His first book (co-authored with Wido van
Peursen) entitled The Two Syriac Versions of the Prayer of Manasseh was
published by Gorgias Press in 2011. His second book, Attributive
Constructions in North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic, was published by Language
Science Press in 2018. Currently he is working as a software engineer
specialized in computational linguistics at Google, Zurich.
*Eunice Moon, Program Manager Fellow* (Apr.-Sep. 2022) *Location*: San
Francisco, CA, USA Eunice (she/her) is a Business Partner in Google's
Operational Effectiveness, responsible for contingent workforce strategy
and planning for Alphabet. Previously, Eunice was a Senior Manager at
Accenture, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on building data-driven
organizational change programs. Through Accenture Development Partnerships,
Eunice worked at the United Nations to develop a strategy to enable access
to family planning for 3 million women in the Philippines. As a consultant
at TechnoServe, she developed a strategy that improved the livelihoods of
smallholder farmers in Mozambique. Eunice holds an MBA from London Business
School and a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.
*Mary Yang, Software Engineer Fellow* (Apr.-Sep. 2022) *Location*: Seattle,
WA, USA Mary (she/her) is a Software Engineer at Google Seattle for 2.5
years. At her home team in Ads, she primarily works on data pipelines. She
graduated college with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Physics.
She enjoys learning and researching, and she dreams of going back to school
one day. With Chinese as her first language, Mary is passionate about the
mission of this project, making information available around the globe. In
her spare time, Mary likes baking, traveling, playing with ML models, and
her two cats.
*Olivia Zhang, Product Manager Fellow* (Apr.-Sep. 2022) *Location*: St
Louis, MO, USA Olivia (she/her) is a Google Cloud customer engineer,
focused on enabling & coaching enterprises in their infrastructure and
application modernization journey. Before Google, Olivia held roles in SaaS
solution architecture and technology consulting, driving large scale
technology transformations for customers across industry verticals. Olivia
has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Washington University in St.
Louis, and an MBA from University of Missouri - Columbia.
*Ori Livneh, Software Engineer (TLM) Fellow* (Apr.-Sep. 2022) *Location*:
New York City, NY, USA Ori (he/him) is a Software Engineer at Google, where
he works on optimizing software to run efficiently on modern hardware. He
lives in New York City with his partner and their son. In his spare time,
he enjoys running and hacking on open-source software. He's been a
Wikipedian since 2005. Ori also worked for the Wikimedia Foundation as a
software engineer from 2012 to 2016.
*Sandy Woodruff, UX Designer Fellow* (Jul.-Dec. 2022) *Location*: San
Francisco, CA, USA Sandy (she/her) is a Bay Area-based interaction designer
with 9+ years of experience who strives to create experiences that are both
ethical and impactful. She has been at Google for 4.5 years on the Cloud AI
& Industry Solutions UX team designing products that make AI accessible to
users with limited machine learning experience. Outside of Google, Sandy
loves helping others break into the field of UX through career coaching.
Before that, she designed at Etsy, Rent the Runway, and Fab; advised for
Cornell Tech’s incubator and launched a startup that helped New York City
residents develop better recycling habits.
If you have further questions or comments, feel free to ask on wiki or on
the mailing list. We are very thankful to Google.org
for offering us this
co-operative program. This relationship is not exclusive to them; if other
companies, universities, or other groups would be interested in making
similar donations in kind towards the Wikimedia movement, we would be
delighted to work with them, too. You can reach out to us at
Our work with the Fellows is part of an ongoing relationship
the Foundation, Google, and Google.org
. We’re happy to continue our work
with both entities to support a healthy web ecosystem, making knowledge
more accessible and representative of the diversity of the web’s users.