Not so random thoughts of an IR researcher involved in the massive open online learning movement ...


When I am not talking about information retrieval research/education, I usually talk about MOOCs in this blog. While IR and MOOCs seem pretty unrelated, they come together very well in the area of Search As Learning. Search though is not always necessary for MOOC research, there are plenty of other... [Read More]


Imagine this: you are an educator who teaches a large class and would like to give your students the opportunity to practice as much as they like. So you create questions. But that is cumbersome. Instead, you’d like (or: I’d like) an automatic pipeline that takes in the material you... [Read More]

IR course projects

After quite a few years of not teaching information retrieval, I finally taught an IR MSc course (140 hours study load, 2 lectures a week for 8 weeks; 4 support hours per week) together with my colleague Nava Tintarev earlier this year. While Nava introduced the students to the... [Read More]

Dagstuhl Seminar Search as Learning

Schloss Dagstuhl is a familiar name for many Computer Science researchers. A center founded in the early 1990s that has quickly become one of the world’s premier meeting centers for computer science research. It is also in the middle of nowhere in Germany, which is a pain in terms... [Read More]

ACL 2017

It is conference season. Again. Not just in the IR, but also the NLP and ML communities. Time to start reading. ACL 2017 with its nearly 200 full papers and more than 100 short papers was a treasure trove again for inspiring approaches, problems and datasets. There is really... [Read More]