Early life and education
Page was born on March 26, 1973, in East Lansing, Michigan. His mother was Jewish, and his maternal grandfather later made aliyah to Israel, but Page does not follow any formal religion. His father, Carl Victor Page, Sr., earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan, when the field was being established, and BBC reporter Will Smale has described him 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: "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 monorail with 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.