Tuesday, January 1, 2008

About the Series

The CMU-IR Discussion Series is a student-run initiative to encourage discussion and foster research between the multiple Information Retrieval research groups here at Carnegie Mellon. We intend the informal presentations to be a vehicle for:
  • learning about each others' research,
  • discussing the big (and little) problems of a research area, and
  • fostering collaboration across groups.
The presentations in this series are of an informal nature. Interruptions, questions, and discussions on tangents are encouraged and welcomed. We wish this to be a low-stress, relaxed opportunity for our presenters to discuss topics of interest with us. Our interpretation of the meaning of "information retrieval" is fairly broad; we welcome discussions of related fields (Machine Learning, Agents, Statistics, and so on). While most of the presentations are from students researching Information Retrieval here at CMU, we also welcome discussions from students and faculty in other programs and institutions as well as industry professionals.

One of the goals of the series is to strike a nice balance between area overview presentations and technical presentations on specific approaches. Because many of us work on quite different areas of Information Retrieval, we often find it beneficial to have discussions that focus on the important problems in our respective research areas and the techniques that have been found to be broadly useful (and occasionally the spectacular failures). In order to keep grounded, we also have some technical discussions on specific techniques and approaches.

In an effort to make this series a valuable resource for others, we plan on posting the authors' slides (with permission). We also ask that authors provide a short reading list of articles (preferably online) for people who want to learn about the topics in more depth.

For LTI students: a presentation in the IR Discussion Series can fulfill your annual LTI talk requirement. Let us know if you wish to do this more than a week in advance, so that we can advertise the talk according to policy. You will still be required to make sure two faculty are present and that they fill out the form after your presentation.