Sanders Series Lecture

Meredith Morris:
Collaborative Web Search: Towards Next-Generation Information-Seeking Experiences

2016-02-09 12:30 at MaRS Auditorium

In this talk, I will give an overview of my research on developing and evaluating novel collaboration technologies in diverse areas of computing such as information retrieval, gesture interaction, accessibility, and education. The talk will particularly focus on collaborative web search — today, web search is largely a solitary experience, with web browsers and search engine sites typically designed to support a single user, working alone. Collaborative tools can result in improved information-seeking outcomes, such as increasing searchers’ coverage of the relevant information space, reducing unnecessary redundant work across searchers, and exposing searchers to new search strategies and syntax. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges associated with supporting collaborative information seeking and present several prototype systems that address these challenges. I will conclude with discussing directions for future research with respect to collaborative search as well as for collaborative technologies more broadly.

Meredith Ringel Morris is a computer scientist conducting research in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, and information retrieval (IR). Morris’s main research focus is on social and collaborative web search. She wrote the first book on the subject, Collaborative Web Search: Who, What, Where, When, and Why?. Technology Review recognized Dr. Morris’s pioneering work on collaborative web search by naming her one of 2008’s “35 Innovators Under 35.”

Dr. Morris is a Senior Researcher in the neXus research group at Microsoft Research. She is also an affiliate associate professor in the department of Computer Science & Engineering and in the Information School at the University of Washington, where she participates in the dub research consortium. Dr. Morris joined Microsoft Research in 2006, after receiving her Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation,Supporting Effective Interaction with Tabletop Groupware, was among the first to explore interaction techniques for collaborative work with surface computers. Before earning her Ph.D., she received an M.S. in computer science from Stanford University and an Sc.B. in computer science from Brown University.

Dr. Morris has held numerous leadership positions in the academic community. In 2009, she served as technical program chair for CHI, the ACM’s flagship conference on the topic of human-computer interaction, and she is the technical program chair for CSCW 2014, the ACM’s premier conference on collaborative and social technologies (she will be the general chair of the upcoming CSCW 2016 conference). She also chaired the “Interaction Beyond the Individual” papers committee for CHI 2011 and was program chair for the 2012 ACM conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces. She is a member of the editorial board of Transactions on Human Computer Interaction, the leading journal in the field of HCI, and is a member of the ACM CSCW Steering Committee.

Merrie’s husband, Dan Morris, is also a computer scientist at Microsoft Research. They have two small children and one large dog.