CS 430 / INFO 430
Information Retrieval
Fall 2004

Professor William Y. Arms


Course Description

This course looks at the methods used to search for and discover information in digital libraries and web information systems. Methods that are covered include techniques for searching, browsing and filtering information, descriptive metadata, the use of classification systems and thesauruses, and web search systems.

Offered: Fall only
Prerequisites: This class requires a moderate level of maturity in understanding computer systems and architecture, such as CS211 (or equivalent).  Several assignments will include programming in Java or C++.  Prior knowledge of either Java or C++ is required.
Grade options: Letter or S/U
Credit hours: 3

Basic Information

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 12:20-1:10 p.m., Olin Hall 255
Discussion Classes: Wednesday 7:30-8:30 p.m., Upson Hall B17
Instructor: William Arms, wya@cs.cornell.edu, 255-3046,
Cornell Information Science, 301 College Avenue
Instructor's Assistant: Anat Nidar-Levi, anat@cs.cornell.edu, 255-5925,
Cornell Information Science, 301 College Avenue
Instructor's Office Hours: Tuesday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. or contact Anat Nidar-Levi to schedule an appointment
Teaching Assistant Gilly Leshed, gl87@cornell.edu, 255-5530,
Cornell Information Science, 301 College Avenue
Teaching Assistant Veselin Stoyanov, ves@cs.cornell.edu

The Teaching Assistant does not have scheduled office hours but is available to help you by email.  Please send all message about the course to: cs430-l@cs.cornell.edu.  Messages to this addresses are forwarded to the Instructor and the Teaching Assistant.

Notices and Syllabus

Urgent notices about the course are posted on the Notices page of this web site.  Check the page regularly for current information.

The course syllabus is posted on the Syllabus page of this web site.  It has the schedule of lectures, discussion classes, assignments and examinations.  Note that the syllabus is subject to change as the course progresses.

Discussion Classes

The discussion classes on Wednesday evenings are a central part of the course. Each class is based on a paper to be read or a computing task to be carried out in advance of the class.

The grades for the discussion classes allow everybody to miss up to two classes, but the material in the readings will be covered in the examinations.

Assumed Background

CS211 (or equivalent) plus a reasonable knowledge of the C, C++, or Java programming languages. Sufficient maturity to be able to learn new programming languages on your own if your project requires it.

Computing Laboratory

Unix and Windows computers with appropriate software are available in the Computer Science Undergraduate Lab, Upson Hall Room 315/317. M.Eng. students may also use the M.Eng. computing lab.  If your project requires other software or facilities, contact the Teaching Assistant assigned to your project.

Assignments and Grading

The course grade will be based on course assignments, participation in the discussion classes, and the examinations (mid-term and final).  The weightings given to these components are expected to be as follows, but these weightings may be changed:

Discussion classes33%

All assignments are individual assignments, but you are encouraged to discuss the readings and the course concepts with your colleagues. To understand when collaboration is appropriate read the web page on Academic Integrity and understand how it applies to this course.

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William Y. Arms
Last changed: September 21, 2004