UMD Graduate Students Attend Google Cloud Next ‘24 Conference in Las Vegas

Maia Johnston - May 7, 2024

A look into two graduate students’ experience learning about the latest technological advancements and the future of AI

Google Cloud conference room. Huge screen with a crow of people.

Inspiring is one word to describe the experience of two UMD graduate students at the Google Cloud Next ‘24 Conference. Master of Information Management (MIM) students, Aditya Kiran and Animesh Nandan, attended the multi-day event in Las Vegas in April 2024. They received free passes from Google after attending a Google GenAI event in Virginia, as well as travel funding from MIM. 

The conference offered “an immersive experience full of thought-provoking talks, useful workshops, and plenty of networking possibilities,” Nandan said. It presented participants with the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of topics, including digital infrastructure, sustainable computing, and the incorporation of artificial intelligence into cloud services. It also provided the invaluable opportunity to connect with many high-level executives, various Fortune 500 companies, and AI startups.

These interactions resulted in professional insight and advice. Nandan shared how he was thrilled to “meet the authors behind the original transformer paper (the AI architecture that powers ChatGPT and other LLMs) at Google Brain and [have] a good chat with them regarding the current state of AI and what the future holds with regards to AI.” 

The future of technology is constantly changing, which is why the standout features of the conference were the workshops that facilitated direct engagement with new technologies and platforms. Nandan detailed how they “made sure that attendees would go away with fresh knowledge as well as useful abilities for their personal initiatives and jobs.”