Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business
Mondays 4:00-6:00pm, (2 units)
2 hours of lecture per week, 1 hour of discussion per week.
Location: 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Bldg
Open to all undergraduate students and designed for
those with little technical background.
Graduate student version of the course)
The organizer, Prof. Marti Hearst,
is an Associate Professor at SIMS, and has done extensive research on search user
interfaces. She was on the Science Advisory Board for Search at Yahoo
from 2004-2005 and for Altavista from 2002-2004.
She will provide the introduction to the course, devise the homework
assignments, and create lectures for topics that are not covered by other speakers.
A set of top-notch experts have agreed to give
lectures for Fall 2005. See the Speaker Schedule.
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The World Wide Web brings much of the world's knowledge into the reach of nearly
everyone with a computer and an internet connection. The availability of
huge quantities of information at our fingertips is transforming government,
business, and many other aspects of society.
For most people, Web search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) are technologies
which have enormous influence on how people find and think about information.
They are the gateways, (or some might argue, gate keepers) to this vast sea of
information. With the rising importance of search engines come new legal,
business, and policy questions and considerations.
This course will examine these issues via a series of lectures from experts in
academia and industry. Students will first gain an understanding of the basics
of how search engines work, and then explore how search engine design impacts
business and culture. Topics include search advertising and auctions, search
and privacy, search ranking, internationalization, anti-spam efforts, local
search, peer-to-peer search, and search of blogs and online communities.
Marti Hearst (firstname.lastname@example.org)
212 South Hall, 510-642-8016
Fredrik Wallenberg (email@example.com)
Hye (Helen) Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The course will consist of one 2-hour lecture per week, and one 1-hour
discussion section per week. Each lecture will be delivered by one or more
experts from academia or industry. Each lecture will include at least 30 minutes
for question-and-answer sessions.
To better understand the issues, it is important to have an understanding of the
underlying technology. Thus, in this course, students will learn and explore the
basics of how search engines work via readings and homework exercises.
Discussion sections will be used for three main purposes: to prepare students
for the next week's lecture, to discuss ideas that came up in lecture, and to
help students with homework assignments, as needed. Homework assignments will
sometimes be exercises to better understand the technology, and will sometimes
consist of answering questions about the content of the lectures, or about other
issues of interest to students.
Please note: the LOCATION of ALL discussion sections has changed to
South Hall, which is the building that SIMS is housed in. It is the
old brick Victorian building that lies west of the Campanile, east of
Wheeler, and south of Doe. (We are moving to South Hall because we
will have access to computer projectors there.) The details are:
Tue 4-5: Room 205 South Hall (FW)
Wed 3-4: CANCELLED
Wed 4-5: Room 205 South Hall (HK)
Thu 3-4: CANCELLED
Students will be required to write a 5-10 page final essay in lieu of a final
exam. Technically-oriented students will be allowed to do a programming project
instead of a final paper. Grading will be a combination of scores for lecture
attendance, homeworks, and the final essay or project. Discussion section
attendance will not be graded.
Grading breakdown: Attendance 50%, Homeworks 25%, Final Project 25%.
There is a required book for this course,
The Search, by John Battelle.
Students are expected to
read the first 3 chapters of this book before the lecture by the
book's author on Sept 12th.
Because the book is new, it is not available for purchase online until
Sept 8. Hence, we have purchased copies of the book which we will be
distributing to students on the first day of class (Monday, Aug 29).
Please bring a check for $19.50 to the first class session; make the
check out to "UC Regents". (We are doing it this way rather than
through the bookstore because the bookstore would have charged the
full price of $25.95 and we were able to obtain the books at a discount.)
Optional Suggested Book for Techies
For computer science students who are interested in
independently studying how search engines work in detail, I strongly
Mining the Web by Soumen Chakrabarti.