2014 Award Winner

The winner of the 2014 Tony Kent Strix Award is Dr Susan T Dumais

UKeiG, in association with the International Society for Knowledge Organisation UK and the British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group, is delighted to announce that this year’s winner of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award is Dr Susan T Dumais, Distinguished Scientist and Deputy Managing Director as well as Manager of the Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA 98052 USA.

Susan Dumais' research interests include algorithms and interfaces for improved information retrieval, as well as general issues in human-computer interaction. Her current research focuses on gaze-enhanced interaction, the temporal dynamics of information systems, user modeling and personalisation, novel interfaces for interactive retrieval, and search evaluation. She has published widely in the fields of information science, human-computer interaction and cognitive science. In her time at Microsoft she has also worked closely with several product groups including Bing, Windows Desktop Search, SharePoint Portal Server, and Office Online Help. Before joining Microsoft in 1997, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories and Bellcore, where she worked on latent semantic analysis, methods for combining search and navigation, and the organisational impact of new technology.

Dr. Dumais is a worthy recipient of the 2014 Tony Kent Strix award. For over 30 years, she has been a well-respected leading light in information retrieval - both in terms of research and practice - with sustained contributions that are both innovative and practical. Her significant impact has a range of theoretical, systems, and empirical bases. Dr. Dumais has developed novel algorithms to help people to find, use, and make sense of information. Her research at the intersection of human computer interaction and information retrieval has broad applications for both understanding and improving searching and browsing from the Internet to the desktop. Dr. Dumais has made a number of significant contributions to theory, experimentation, and practice in information retrieval. Perhaps her most significant contribution to date is the co-invention of Latent Semantic Analysis and Indexing (LSI); a key feature of which is its ability to extract the latent conceptual structure from a large collection of texts by analysing the associations between terms that occur in similar contexts, thus enabling a search engine to retrieve using concepts rather than keywords. LSI has been used to model various aspects of human cognition such as language acquisition and textual coherence. LSI stemmed from Dr Dumais’ groundbreaking prior work on the mismatch between the vocabularies of searchers and authors that may hinder traditional retrieval methods.

Beyond LSI, Dr Dumais has made many other significant contributions that demonstrate a strong record of innovation, initiative, original thinking, and pragmatism. This includes research in key areas such as text categorisation (with applications in email spam filtering), personalisation, applying large-scale usage data for ranking, personal information management, and question answering using Web data. Each is a landmark study and could easily represent its own noteworthy contribution to information retrieval.

Dr. Dumais has had incredible practical influence within Microsoft. She is widely regarded as a thought leader for tackling difficult technical challenges in search and retrieval. During her time at Microsoft, her research has shaped the development of new search technologies in products used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide (e.g., desktop search in Windows, personalisation in Bing). She has been a leader in the information retrieval community for many years: as a former chair of the ACM SIGIR organisation, as program chair for the SIGIR and SIGCHI conferences, and on many editorial boards for the top journals in the field. She has also been highly influential at the U.S. national level, serving on advisory boards for the National Research Council to shape policy, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science.

It is in recognition of her many contributions that Dr. Dumais has been appointed as a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist, a role reserved for those making significant and sustained innovative research contributions to computer science. Dr. Dumais’ fundamental contributions to computer science - especially information retrieval and human-computer interaction - have been recognised in a number of other ways (e.g., ACM Fellow, Athena Lecturer award from the ACM-W, National Academy of Engineering member). She is also one of a few researchers to successfully bridge information retrieval and human-computer interaction. Her outstanding interdisciplinary contributions have also been recognised in both communities, such as the Salton Award and the CHI Academy.

A presentation will take place during Internet Librarian International 2014.