Susan Dumais: Personalized Search: Potential and Pitfalls

2015 Talks
John Meehan
Oct. 15, 2015, 5:35 p.m.

Susan Dumais
Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft, Deputy Managing Director of the
Microsoft Research Lab in Redmond
Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 4:00 P.M.
Room 368 (CIT 3rd Floor)

Personalized Search: Potential and Pitfalls

Traditionally search engines have returned the same results to
everyone who issues the same query. However, using a single ranking
for everyone in every context at every point in time limits how well a
search engine can do in providing relevant information. In this talk I
outline a framework to quantify the "potential for personalization"
which we use to characterize the extent to which different people have
different intents for a query. I describe several examples of how we
represent and use different kinds of contextual features to improve
search quality for individuals. Finally I conclude by highlighting
important challenges in developing personalized systems at Web scale
including control and transparency, serendipity, and evaluation.

Susan Dumais a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft and Deputy
Managing Director of the Microsoft Research Lab in Redmond. Prior to
joining Microsoft Research, she was at Bell Labs and Bellcore, where
she worked on Latent Semantic Analysis, techniques for combining
search and navigation, and organizational impacts of new technology.
Her current research focuses on user modeling and personalization,
context and search and temporal dynamics of information. She has
worked closely with several Microsoft groups (Bing, Windows Desktop
Search, SharePoint, and Office Online Help) on search-related
innovations. Susan has published widely in the fields of information
science, human-computer interaction and cognitive science, and holds
several patents on novel retrieval algorithms and interfaces. Susan is
also an adjunct professor in the Information School at the University
of Washington. She is Past-Chair of ACM's Special Interest Group in
Information Retrieval (SIGIR), and serves on several editorial boards,
technical program committees, and government panels. She was elected
to the CHI Academy in 2005, an ACM Fellow in 2006, received the SIGIR
Gerard Salton Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009, was elected to
the National Academy of Engineering in 2011, received the ACM Athena
Lecturer and Tony Kent Strix Awards in 2014, and was elected to the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.

Host: Professor Jeff Huang

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