The following lecture, hosted by Dr Toms (Canada Research Chair in
Management Informatics) will be of special interest to information
professionals . Dr Beaulieu is a mighty scholar and an engaging speaker.
The reception following her lecture will provide great networking
opportunities as well as the chance to meet Dr Beaulieu directly.
Looking forward to seeing you at this event!
Lecture: "Evaluating Interactive Information Systems in Context: A Unifying
Who: Dr. Micheline Beaulieu
Professor, Chair of the Informatics Collaboratory of the Social Sciences, and
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning, University of Sheffield, UK
Friday, March 27, 2009
1:15-2:30; reception 2:30-3:30
Room 1014, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue
Evaluating search systems is a hard problem mainly due to the historical
evolution of research in this area. Three distinct and independent perspectives
namely: sociological-like studies of how people seek information, algorithms
for creating new information retrieval systems and search engines, and
examinations of how people use search systems have driven research and
development. Although some effort has been made to accommodate both the
user-centric social science paradigms and the system-centric scientific
paradigms, it has proven to be very difficult to address let alone resolve the
fundamental tensions between the two approaches. This talk will examine the
concept of 'information interaction in context' which has emerged as a possible
alternative approach for bridging the traditional divide. Dr. Beaulieu will
explore how blending context -- interaction, cognition, tasks and users -- in
information retrieval will serve as a foundation for the evaluation of
Dr. Beaulieu is Professor in Information Science, former Head of Department at
City and Sheffield Universities, Chair of the Informatics Collaboratory of the
Social Sciences, and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning at the
University of Sheffield.
Canadian born, Professor Beaulieu spent her early career as a librarian in
university libraries in the U.K. and then progressed from being a mature
doctoral student in the late eighties to gain a Personal Chair and become Head
of the Department of Information Science at City University in 1996. She then
joined the University of Sheffield to head the top ranking research Department
of Information Studies and over the past ten years she has taken a leading role
in promoting interdisciplinary research in the Social Sciences and in
developing a strategic management approach to academic planning.
Her research in interactive information retrieval focuses on models of
information seeking behaviour, human-computer interaction and the development
of evaluation methods for information retrieval systems. She has published
extensively in the field, contributing principally in the design of the
interactive evaluative studies for the pioneering best match experimental
retrieval system Okapi, and as a founding participant of the Text REtrieval
Conference (TREC) Interactive Track.
This talk is part of the Distinguished Seminar Series of The Centre for
For more information, go to the Centre for Management Informatics website: