Real Life, Real Users, and Real Information Needs:
This is an opportunity to analyze large sets of queries submitted to Web search engines by users in the real world. The Web holds the possibility of addressing a wide range of issues, from technological, social, cultural, and political, among others. How is the Web, as an information medium, currently being utilized and what can we hypothesis about its use in the future? What will be the impact? Major Web search engines -- Excite,, and AltaVista -- have provided millions of queries from hundreds of thousands of users through out the world for analysis. Possible specific topic areas include medical, education, children issues, gender, sexual issues, language, government and eCommerce. Topics can be discussed based on your interest. Opportunities for independent studies.

How Do Normal People Search the Web?
We videotaped, electronically recorded all interactions, and administrated pre and post surveys to forty searchers using a Web search engine in order document how searchers interact with online information and systems. General systems theory (GST) views the information searching process as multiple and shifting interactions. Using a GST approach, research using this data can take several avenues, depending on your interests? What does this data tell us about how people search? How can the system be improved to support the searching? What are the complex interactions among users, systems and information? Specific topics can be discussed. Opportunities for independent studies.

If interested, contact Dr. Jansen.



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