ESAIR’15 CfP

The Exploiting Semantic Annotations in Information Retrieval (ESAIR) workshop series aims to advance the general research agenda on the problem of creating and exploiting semantic annotations. The eighth edition of ESAIR, with a renewed set of organizers, sets its focus on applications. We invite presentations of prototype systems in a dedicated “Annotation in Action” demo track, in addition to the regular research and position paper contributions. A Best Demonstration Award, sponsored by Google, will be presented to the authors of the most outstanding demo at the workshop.

Submissions: regular research papers (4+ pages), position papers (2+1 pages), demo papers (4+ pages)
Deadline: July 2nd

The workshop also offers a track for authors of papers that were not successful at the main conference for their work to be considered for presentation at the workshop; the deadline for these contributions is July 8. In this case, authors are required to attach the reviews for their paper along with the paper so as to facilitate the decision process.

See the workshop’s homepage for details.

KEYSTONE keynote

I was invited to talk about issues related to entity ranking, query understanding, and evaluation at the most recent KEYSTONE COST meeting. Here are the slides from my presenatation.

PhD positions in IR

The University of Stavanger invites applications for up to three doctorate scholarships in Information Technology at the Faculty of Science and Technology, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, beginning September 1, 2015.

There are 15 projects offered in total, which include two IR projects supervised by me:

#8. Living labs for information retrieval

Living labs is a new evaluation paradigm for information retrieval (IR), where the idea is to perform experiments in situ, with real users doing real tasks using real-world applications. This type of evaluation is standard practice in (large) industrial research labs, but is only now becoming available to academic researchers [1,2]. Despite recent developments, there are still numerous challenges to be overcome, including living labs architecture and design, hosting, maintenance, security, privacy, participant recruiting, and scenarios and tasks for use development. This focus of this project is on developing and employing the living labs evaluation paradigm for IR. The PhD candidate will contribute to the understanding of online evaluation and how to generalize across different use-cases.

[1] http://living-labs.net/
[2] http://www.clef-newsreel.org/

#9. Answering complex queries

Web search engines have become remarkably effective in providing appropriate answers to queries that are issued frequently. However, when it comes to complex information needs, often formulated as natural language questions, responses become much less satisfactory (e.g., “Which European universities have active Nobel laureates?”). Manual effort is often required to collect and synthesize information from multiple sources, a process that may involve a series of filtering, sorting, and aggregation steps. The goal of this project is to investigate how to improve query understanding and answer retrieval for complex queries, using massive volumes of unstructured data in combination with knowledge bases.

Details and application instructions can be found here.
Application deadline: February 24, 2015.

Important: Feel free to contact me directly for more information regarding the projects. However, applications need to be submitted on jobbnorge.no (i.e., don’t send them in email to me). Also, don’t forget to indicate which projects you are applying for, in order of preference.

Digital exam

The University of Stavanger is one of the higher education institutions in Norway that are now working on a pilot project for digital examination. My web programming and interaction design course will be among the first ones (and the very first one within the Faculty of Science and Technology) that will have a digital exam already this semester.

The latest issue of Teknisk Ukeblad featured an article on this topic where I was also interviewed about my reasons for having a digital, as opposed to paper-based, exam.

The highlighed quote, in free translation, reads like “The point of the exam is that it should be as close to a work situation as possible. Students will not be doing programming on paper when they start their job.” Digital exams also allow for certain websites to be used as reference material, in addition to textbooks.

Read the whole article here (in Norwegian).

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