Stuff I've Seen: Personal Information Management and Use

Speaker: Susan T. Dumais , Microsoft Research

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Refreshments: 5:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil Seminar Room (32-G449)

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Host: Jaime Teevan, CSAIL

Contact: Jaime Teevan, (617) 253-1611,

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** NOTE: Unusual date and time. **


Most information retrieval technologies are designed to facilitate information discovery. However, much knowledge work involves finding and re-using previously seen information in the context of ongoing work activities. We developed a prototype system called Stuff I've Seen (SIS) to support information re-use. The system provides unified access to information that a person has seen, regardless of whether the information was seen as an email, appointment, web page, document, hand-written note, etc. Because the information has been seen before, rich contextual cues and visualizations (including timelines and memory landmarks) can be used to present search results. Richer personalized and contextualized information retrieval capabilities can also supported using this infrastructure. SIS has been deployed internally to more than two thousand people. We studied its use using a variety of observational, log, questionnaire and laboratory studies. Key finding include the importance of time and people as retrieval cues, and the importance of supporting highly iterative and interactive retrieval. Alternative presentation techniques that leverage personal memory landmarks and contextual cues are promising alternatives to the long ranked lists that we are all familiar with.


Susan Dumais is a Senior Researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research where she works on algorithms and interfaces for improved information access and management. Prior to joining Microsoft Research in 1997, she was at Bellcore and Bell Labs for many years. She has published widely in the areas of human-computer interaction and information retrieval. Her current research focuses on personal information retrieval, user modeling, web search, text categorization, and collaborative information retrieval. Previous research included well-known work on Latent Semantic Indexing (a statistical method for concept-based retrieval), combining search and navigation, individual differences, perceptual learning and attention, and organizational impacts of new technology. Susan is Past-Chair of ACM's SIGIR group, and serves on several editorial boards, government and program committees. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington in the Information School, and has been a visiting faculty member at Stevens Institute of Technology, New York University, and the University of Chicago. Additional information is available at:

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series Spring 2005.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM.