Thursday, December 18

December SIGIR Forum

A little light holiday reading, the December issue of the SIGIR Forum is available online.

What should grad students be learning?

Harvard professor, Michael Mitzenmacher, has a post on his blog titled What Else Should Grad Students Be Learning?

He highlights skills such as: time management, writing/speaking, leadership, and entrepreneurship. It's a good list. However, I would be interested to know what skills grad students should be developing that differ from what people should be developing in the 'real world'. In fact, I think industry can teach you these skills faster in many cases because the environment can be more demanding with near-term revenue and jobs on the line.

Personally, I think grad students should learn about funding and the grant process. This is similar to the reason that programmers in industry should know the basics of business and managerial accounting. The bottom line is that techies need to be able to live and communicate effectively with a non-technical audience, some of whom may be their bosses.

TREC 2009 Call for Participation

The TREC 2009 call for participation went out yesterday.

It should be an interesting year with new and larger web and blog collections.

The registration deadline is in February.

Tuesday, December 16

Synthese Article Recommendation System

Andre announced a first release of CISTI's Synthese Recommender system for journal articles. It uses Taste and the article citations as a substitute for user preference data.

You can search the 1.5 million BioMed articles and add them to your 'basket'. The system then recommends new articles you should read.

Searching for the longest path...

A large group of us in the IR lab recently finished a class in Advanced Algorithms. Here's an algorithms tribute, Find The Longest Path [lyrics] to the tune of Billy Joel's The Longest Time. It was reportedly written in 1988 by a grad student at John's Hopkins during a particularly hard algorithms final.

Now that the semester is over, it's good to be able to focus on research again. After all, the SIGIR 2009 deadline is only about a month away!