Princeton University
Computer Science Dept.

Computer Science 435
Information Retrieval, Discovery, and Delivery

Andrea LaPaugh

Spring 2012

General Information | Schedule and AssignmentsProject Page | Announcements

Course Summary

This course examines the methods used to search for information in large digital collections (e.g. Google) and how digital content is gathered by search engines. We study classic techniques of indexing documents and searching text and also new algorithms that exploit properties of the Web (e.g. links) and other digital collections, including multimedia collections. Techniques include those for relevance and ranking of document, exploiting user history, and information clustering. We also examine systems aspects of search technology: how distributed computing and storage are used to make information delivery efficient.


COS  226.

Administrative Information

Meeting time:  Monday, Wednedsay 1:30-2:50pm
Meeting place:  Friend Center 004
Extra meetings: If we need to make up a class due to my schedule, we may have a class during reading period and/or an evening class during the semester. Class participants will be consulted before any make-up class time is chosen.

Professor: Andrea LaPaugh, aslp@ ...
304 Computer Science Building, 258-4568
Office hours: Monday 3-4:30pm  or by appointment.  Easiest way to make an appointment is by email.

Teaching Assistant:  Yiming Liu, yimingl@ ...
414 Computer Science Building
Office hours:  Tuesday 10am- noon or by appointment.

Course secretary: Mitra Kelly, 323 CS building, 258-4562, mkelly@ ...

All email addresses are at


Required reading:

Supplemental reading (check back for additions as we progress in the semester):

On reserve at Engineering Library:

Work of the Course

The course will have the following components weighted as indicated:

Problem sets

There will be 6 problem sets distributed throughout the semester. 


There will two take-home exams during the semester, each covering roughly half the course material. There is no exam during final exam period.


Each student or pair of students will do a final project of his/her or their choosing related to the material of the course. The project must be approved in advance by the course instructor.  See the project page for more information and a list of suggested projects.


All assignments will be made available on the course Web site (see Schedule and Assignments). ``Handouts'' and copies of any transparencies used in class will be posted on the course Web site as well.

We will use Piazza for all course announcements and quick questions.   Students are responsible for registering on Piazza and adding themselves to cos 435 Students are also responsible for monitoring the postings on the Piazza cos 435 site for important course announcements.  Piazza is great for sharing questions and answers with the class (private questions addressed only to the instructors are also possible).  However, an old fashioned face-to-face meeting is still best for addressing deeper confusions and other technical discussions.

Schedule changes will be made on Schedule and Assignments and announced on Piazza


(This is the general list of topics and probably a superset of what we will have time to cover. Please see Schedule and Assignments for specific topics and reading assignments as the semester progresses)

A.S. LaPaugh content last changed Sun Feb  5 12:33:21 EST 2012