Course Specifications for CS 371R:
Information Retrieval and Web Search



Course Overview

This course will cover traditional material as well as recent advances in information retrieval (IR), the study of the processing, indexing, querying, organization, and classification of textual documents, including hypertext documents available on the world-wide-web. See the course syllabus for further details.

Course Requirements and Grading

Periodical reading assignments from the text and recent research papers will be given and should be read before the corresponding lecture. Students will be held responsible for all information presented either in class or in the reading assignments.

Class lectures will use Powerpoint presentations available on the course homepage . This should allow students to focus on understanding the material during class and reduce the need for taking notes; however, simply reading the slides is no substitute for attending class in which additional explanation and discussion is presented.

Prompt attendance at class is required. Attendance will be taken at the very beginning of every class period and a student's attendance record will count as part of the course grade.

Programming Assignments

There will be four programming assignments throughout the semester. These will involve using and modifying existing Java programs for various IR and web search tasks. You can use your student account on the department Linux workstations or any other Java platform available to you (however, we will only provide support for running on departmental Linux machines). If you are not a CS student and need a temporary department account, apply on the web at https://udb.cs.utexas.edu/amut/acut/.

Midterm Exam

There will be a midterm exam on Oct. 17 that will cover the material in the first half of the course. We will review for the test the class before. A sample former midterm is available on the course home page.

Final Exam

The final will be held Fri. Dec. 13, 2-5PM in the normal classroom. It will be comprehensive test covering all material presented in the course. We will review for the final on the last class day. A sample former final is available on the course home page.

Late Submission and Cheating Policies

Assignments, projects, and exams should be completed independently by each student and any program code should always be appropriately commented. Assignments should be submitted electronically at least 30 minutes before the start of class on the due date. Be sure to hand in assignments on time, late penalties are a loss of a percentage of the original overall points for the assignment: 1 Day: 15%, 2 Days: 40%; 3 Days: 75%; past 3 days: 100%. A day is a 24 hour period starting 30 minutes before the beginning of class and includes all weekend days and holidays.

Read the department's academic policy page. Students who demonstrably violate the Academic Honesty policy will receive a failing grade in the class. We will be using the Moss system to screen submited programs for plagiarism. Over the years, I unfortunately had to fail over a dozen students for copying on programming assignments. To avoid problems, limit any discussion of assignments with other students to clarification of the requirements or definitions of the problems, or to understanding the existing programs or general course material. Never discuss issues directly relevant to problem solutions.

Final Grade

The final grade will be determined as follows:
46%  Assignments
18%  Midterm
28%  Final
 8%  Attendance