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Page was born March 26, 1973 in East Lansing, Michigan. Page does not follow any formal religion. His father, Carl Victor Page, Sr., earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan in 1965, when the field was being established, and has been described by BBC reporter Will Smale as a "pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence." He was a computer science professor at Michigan State University and Page's mother, Gloria, was an instructor in computer programming at Lyman Briggs College and at Michigan State University. During an interview, Page recalled his childhood, noting that his house "was usually a mess, with computers, science and technology magazines and Popular Science magazines all over the place", an environment in which he immersed himself. Page was an avid reader during his youth, writing in his 2013 Google founders letter that "I remember spending a huge amount of time poring over books and magazines". According to writer Nicholas Carlson, the combined influence of Page's home atmosphere and his attentive parents "fostered creativity and invention". Page also played saxophone and studied music composition while growing up. Page has mentioned that his musical education inspired his impatience and obsession with speed in computing. "In some sense I feel like music training led to the high-speed legacy of Google for me,". In an interview Page said that "In music you’re very cognizant of time. Time is like the primary thing" and that "If you think about it from a music point of view, if you’re a percussionist, you hit something, it’s got to happen in milliseconds, fractions of a second". Page was first attracted to computers when he was six years old, as he was able to "play with the stuff lying around"—first-generation personal computers—that had been left by his parents. He became the "first kid in his elementary school to turn in an assignment from a word processor". His older brother also taught him to take things apart and before long he was taking "everything in his house apart to see how it worked". He said that "from a very early age, I also realized I wanted to invent things. So I became really interested in technology and business. Probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually." Page attended the Okemos Montessori School (now called Montessori Radmoor) in Okemos, Michigan, from 1975 to 1979, and graduated from East Lansing High School in 1991. He attended Interlochen Center for the Arts as a saxophonist for two summers while in high school. Page holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, with honors and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University. While at the University of Michigan, Page created an inkjet printer made of Lego bricks (literally a line plotter), after he thought it possible to print large posters cheaply with the use of inkjet cartridges—Page reverse-engineered the ink cartridge, and built all of the electronics and mechanics to drive it. Page served as the president of the Beta Epsilon chapter of the Eta Kappa Nu fraternity, and was a member of the 1993 "Maize & Blue" University of Michigan Solar Car team. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he proposed that the school replace its bus system with a PRT System which is essentially a driverless monorailwith separate cars for every passenger. He also developed a business plan for a company that would use software to build a music synthesizer during this time
After enrolling in a computer science PhD program at Stanford University, Page was in search of a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph—his supervisor, Terry Winograd, encouraged him to pursue the idea, and Page recalled in 2008 that it was the best advice he had ever received. He also considered doing research on telepresence and autonomous cars during this time. Page focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks as valuable information for that page—the role of citations in academic publishing would also become pertinent for the research. Sergey Brin, a fellow Stanford PhD student, would soon join Page's research project, nicknamed "BackRub." Together, the pair authored a research paper titled "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", which became one of the most downloaded scientific documents in the history of the Internet at the time. John Battelle, cofounder of Wired magazine, wrote that Page had reasoned that the: ... entire Web was loosely based on the premise of citation—after all, what is a link but a citation? If he could devise a method to count and qualify each backlink on the Web, as Page puts it "the Web would become a more valuable place." Battelle further described how Page and Brin began working together on the project: At the time Page conceived of BackRub, the Web comprised an estimated 10 million documents, with an untold number of links between them. The computing resources required to crawl such a beast were well beyond the usual bounds of a student project. Unaware of exactly what he was getting into, Page began building out his crawler. The idea's complexity and scale lured Brin to the job. A polymath who had jumped from project to project without settling on a thesis topic, he found the premise behind BackRub fascinating. "I talked to lots of research groups" around the school, Brin recalls, "and this was the most exciting project, both because it tackled the Web, which represents human knowledge, and because I liked Larry.