Gerard Salton
Lecture Series

Thursday, October 27, 2005
4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall

Susan Dumais

Personal Information Management: Helping Finders Become Keepers

Most information retrieval technologies are designed to facilitate information discovery.  However, much knowledge work involves finding and re-using previously seen information in the context of ongoing work activities.  An overview of techniques that people currently use to support re-access will be presented, and usage experiences with the "Stuff Iíve Seen" desktop search prototype that provides unified access to a wide range of heterogeneous information that a person has previously seen (email, web pages, files, news, appointments) will be summarized.   Key finding include the importance of time and people as retrieval cues, and the importance of metadata in supporting interactive retrieval.  Alternative presentation techniques that leverage rich contextual cues such as timelines and memory landmarks are promising alternatives to the long ranked lists of search results that we are all familiar with.   Richer personalized and contextualized information retrieval capabilities can also supported using this infrastructure.

Susan Dumais is a Senior Researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research.  She has been at Microsoft Research since 1997 and has published widely in the areas of human-computer interaction and information retrieval.   Her current research focuses on personal information retrieval, novel interfaces for interactive retrieval, user modeling, relevance measurement, text categorization, and collaborative information retrieval.   Her research in information management has influenced several Microsoft products including Windows Desktop Search, MSN Search, Longhorn Search, SharePoint Portal Server, and Office Help.  Prior to joining Microsoft Research, she was at Bellcore and Bell Labs for many years.   Previous research included well-known work on Latent Semantic Indexing (a statistical method for concept-based retrieval), combining search and navigation, individual differences, and organizational impacts of new technology. 

Susan has published more than 170 articles in the fields of information science, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science, and holds several patents on novel retrieval algorithms and interfaces.   Susan is Past-Chair of ACM's Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval (SIGIR), and served on the NRC Committee on Computing and Communications Research to Enable Better Use of Information Technology in Digital Government, and the NRC Board on Assessment of NIST Programs.  She is on the editorial boards of ACM: Transactions on Information Systems, ACM: Transactions on Human Computer Interaction, Human Computer Interaction, Information Processing and Management, Information Retrieval, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, and the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, an associate editor for the first and second editions of the Handbook of Applied Cognition, and on program committees for several conferences.   She was elected to the CHI Academy in 2004.   Susan is an adjunct professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, and has been a visiting faculty member at Stevens Institute of Technology, New York University, and the University of Chicago.