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Tuesday Oct. 18
Distinguished Stallmann Lecture: Nick Belkin (Rutgers) - Whither Information Retrieval in an Era of Information Ubiquity?
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Hybrid: Zoom & UTA 5.522 (Large Conference Room)

Abstract: In the emerging technological and social-technical environment, people will be (are already) constantly and ubiquitously emerged in a sea of information. The field of information retrieval (IR), and especially, of interactive IR (IIR), needs to construe them as such, and not merely, only, or even as “users” who will stop doing what they’re doing, to engage in an IR system. In this presentation, I identify some characteristics of this rapidly developing environment that are especially salient for how we should conceive of support of people in their interactions with information in this milieu, and propose a framework which specifies factors which will need to be considered in the design of methods and circumstances for effective support. The resulting understanding of support of interaction with information in the era of information ubiquity has strong implications for research directions in IIR; some specific research problems are raised and discussed. It is also the case that major ethical issues arise in this context; these implications and issues are raised and discussed, with the aim of encouraging the IR community to attend to them before it’s too late to have effect.

Bio: Nicholas Belkin is Distinguished Professor of Information Science Emeritus in the Department of Library & Information Science, Rutgers University, and Adjunct Professor at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. Previous to these appointments, he was at the Department of Information Science, The City University, London. He has held visiting positions at, inter alia, the University of Western Ontario, the Free University, Berlin, GMD-IPSI, Darmstadt, the Institute for Systems Science, National University of Singapore, the Information School, University of Washington, Seattle, and GESIS, Cologne. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tampere in 1996, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Croatia in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of London (University College).

Nick has served as the Chair of the ACM SIGIR, and President of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). He is the recipient of the ASIST’s Outstanding Teacher award, its Research Award, and its Award of Merit. In 2015, he received the ACM SIGIR Gerard Salton Award, and in 2020 he was an made an inaugural Member of the ACM SIGIR Academy. He is the author or co-author of over 200 journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters, and has been identified variously as the first or second most highly cited scholar in Library and Information Science.

Nick is known as one of the founders of the cognitive viewpoint in information science, and as a leader in integrating information behavior research with information retrieval research. His most recent research has focused on personalization of interaction with information, especially with respect to the nature of the task which leads people to engage in information seeking, and on methods for evaluation of whole-session search. Professor Belkin’s research has been supported by many agencies, including US NSF, US Institute of Museum and Library Services, Google, DARPA, NIST, US Department of Education, the British Library Research and Development Department, and NATO.

Join via Zoom

Reception to follow in the Martha Lee Pattillo Siv doctoral student lounge. 

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