Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science


Henry Walker

Grinnell College
Computer Science
Google's PageRank Algorithm
When using Google, the search engine identifies pages that satisfy our parameters. The search engine then orders these pages according to a ranking system, called PageRank. Informally, PageRank captures how important a page is; the higher the PageRank, the greater the importance of the Web page. This talk describes in some detail how PageRank is defined and computed. Interestingly, the subject draws heavily upon topics covered in linear algebra, and the talk will assume some background in such topics as matrices, linear transformations, and bases of vector spaces. Slides for one draft of this talk, given at Carthage College in February 2007, are available on-line at
Apply for monies for this speaker