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Search and the Social Web: Organizing the World's People and Making them Accessible and Useful

Date and Time
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
CS Department Colloquium Series
In the past few years, we have seen a tremendous growth in public human communication and self-expression, through blogs, microblogs, and social networks. In addition, we are beginning to see the emergence of a social technology stack on the web, where profile and relationship information gathered by some applications can be used by other applications. This technology shift, and the cultural shift that has accompanied it, offers a great opportunity for computer scientists, artists, and sociologists to study (and organize) people at scale.

In this talk I will discuss how the changing web suggests new paradigms for search and discovery. I will discuss some recent projects that use web search to study human nature, and human nature to improve web search. I will describe the underlying principles behind these projects and suggest how they might inform future work in search, data mining, and social computing.

Sep Kamvar is a consulting professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. His research focuses on social computing and information retrieval. From 2003 to 2007, Sep was the head of personalization at Google. Prior to Google, he was founder and CEO of Kaltix, a personalized search company that was acquired by Google in 2003. Sep is the author of two books and over 40 technical publications and patents in the fields of search and social computing. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and has been exhibited in a number of other museums, including the Victoria and Albert Musem in London and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. He holds a Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics from Stanford University, and an A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.

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