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Lunch & Learn: The Foundations and Future of Information Search with Andrea LaPaugh

Launched in 1998, Google’s stated its mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And so it is. Today, everyone Googles – in the U.S, about 12 billion times a month (including search engines that aren’t Google). We are mostly pleased with the results we get. How can it be that we give an automated system a couple of words and it finds reasonably relevant documents among one hundred billion or so possibilities? Will our satisfaction with these tools increase or decrease as the Web and our expectations grow?
At the March 4 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, Computer Science Professor Andrea LaPaugh gave a peek “under the hood” of major search engines. Core techniques range from word occurrence analysis for text documents, which originating in the 1960s, to Web linking analysis, pioneered by Google’s 1998 PageRank document ranking method.

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