3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The Joy of Search: Adventures in teaching online research skills (and why that's important for software engineering)
Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness
Keynote Abstract

I've been teaching people how to be more effective online researchers for the past decade.  In that time, I've taught thousands of people (think students, librarians, professional researchers, and just plain folks) how to find out what they seek through Google (and many other online resources and tools).  This talk covers my experiences in learning how to teach these skills, and what I've learned from direct interactions with my students and from various studies I've run in the lab and with live search traffic. These skills are fundamental for everyone, but perhaps especially relevant for engineering.  The ability to search has fundamentally transformed the practice of software engineering.  As an example,  I'll discuss my MOOC (, which was designed and implemented over 12 weeks.  Since it was started 6 years ago, it has had over 4M students and zero seconds of downtime.  I'll discuss my teaching practices through live classes, and various publications in paper, book, and video formats.  I can tell you which methods work best, and why. 

About the Keynote

Daniel Russell is Google's Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View.  He earned his PhD in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence.  These days he realizes that amplifying human intelligence is his real passion.  His day job is understanding how people search for information, and the ways they come to learn about the world through Google.  Dan's current research is to understand how human intelligence and artificial intelligence can work together to be better than a solo intelligence.  His 20% job is teaching the world to search more effectively.  His MOOC,, is currently hosting over 3,000 learners / week in the course. In the past 3 years, 4 million students have attended his online search classes, augmenting their intelligence with AI.  His instructional YouTube videos have a cumulative runtime of over 350 years (measured in 24 hours/day; 7 days/week; 52 weeks/year). 

This talk serves as an Informatics Department seminar talk.