Stanford professor Rajeev Motwani, a key adviser to Google founder’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, strongly dismissed Hubert Chang‘s earlier claims of having helped to start Google.
Chang had said in an online video that he provided the algorithm for PageRank technology that is central to Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) search engine.
However, in an article posted by the president of the WebGuild site today, Motwani said he doubted either of the Google founders ever met Chang.
“To the best of my knowledge, his claims about being a founder of Google, coming up with the name and/or the business plan etc, are completely unfounded in reality,” Motwani said in the article.
In the brief e-mail statement to WebGuild’s Daya Baran, Motwani said he did recall receiving a couple of e-mails from Chang in either 1997 or 1998.
“Its been such a long time that I don’t have any recollection of their contents but it’s probable I shared those e-mails with Larry and Sergey,” Motwani said. “In any case, by that time the basic idea of PageRank was already in place and there was a clear intent of building a company around this. I am pretty certain that none of the three of us actually met with Hubert Chang during that time period.”
Like InternetNews.com, WebGuild reported Chang’s extraordinary claim yesterday. Chang’s claims emerged when he posted a video asserting that he helped the Google founders come up with PageRank and the basic idea of forming Google, the company.
A Google spokesperson earlier told InternetNews.com that it’s long been established that Brin and Page founded the company.
In his video, Chang said he declined to be included in a paper that Brin, Page, Motwani and fellow Stanford professor Terry Winograd submitted at Stanford detailing their work on PageRank, because he wasn’t prepared to follow through and help start Google. Chang was studying for a Ph.D. at New York University at the time and had made a commitment to his father to get the degree.
Chang sent WebGuild the following brief statement:
“I was trying to swallow it for years since last contact with them in 2004. Not so easy, since it’s 10 years from 1997. I would rather be disbelieved by others than looked down by myself.”