Computer Devotes Issue to Expanding Capabilities of Search
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 9 March, 2009 – Today’s Web-based search engines perform well when searchers know what they are looking for, but fall short for learning, decision making, and other complex mental activities that take place over time. In its March issue, Computer, the IEEE Computer Society’s flagship magazine, explores efforts by the research community and search engine companies to go beyond search, designing and implementing systems that meet information seekers’ broader requirements.
“Increasing the power of search systems and improving the availability of information can create an informed citizenry and help drive the information economy,” write guest editors Gary Marchionini and Ryen W. White in the special issue. Marchionini is the Cary C. Boshamer Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. White is a researcher in the Text Mining, Search, and Navigation Group at Microsoft Research.
Information seeking is a fundamental human activity. According to the guest editors, today’s search engines are augmenting our memories, presumably freeing us to focus more mental effort on interpreting and using information to learn and make decisions. The easier access to information becomes, the greater our expectations for ubiquitous access in all kinds of situations.
The issue brings together leading researchers from both academia and industry. In “Powers of 10: Modeling Complex Information-Seeking Systems at Multiple Scales,” Peter Pirolli argues that rational and predictive models of information seeking that operate across time and space are beginning to replace traditional descriptive models of information seeking. “Information Seeking Can Be Social,” by Ed H. Chi, and “Collaborative Information Seeking,” by Gene Golovchinsky, Pernilla Qvarfordt, and Jeremy Pickens, provide examples of social and collaborative search and indicate new directions for leveraging the collective search experience during information seeking.
In “Building Knowledge: What’s Beyond Keyword Search?” m.c. schraefel puts today’s tools in the historical context of pre-Web computation. In “Evaluation Challenges and Directions for Information-Seeking Support Systems,” Diane Kelly, Susan Dumais, and Jan O. Pedersen provide an overview of evaluation strategies that aim to get inside the black box between query and result. And rounding out the collection of search articles, Google’s Daniel M. Russell highlights the importance of collaborations among corporate and academic scientists in “Industry-Academic Relationships.”
The magazine is available free to members of the IEEE Computer Society, the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. To become a member, visit http://www.computer.org/join. Individual articles are available for purchase at http://www.computer.org/computer.
About the Computer Society
With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of the 39 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology, and is known globally for its computing standards activities.
The Computer Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, and online courses. Its Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) program for mid-career professionals and Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential for recent college graduates confirm the skill and knowledge of those working in the field. The CS Digital Library (CSDL) is an excellent research tool, containing more than 250,000 articles from 1,600 conference proceedings and 26 CS periodicals going back to 1988.