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

Relevant reading assignments from the text and recent research papers are given in the syllabus. This information is best read before the corresponding lecture. Students will primarily be held responsible for all information presented in class, the reading assignments are supplementary.

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. Lectures will be recorded using LecturesOnLine but this a not a substitute for attending class. If you must miss class due to illness, family emergency, or religious obligation, contact the instructor in advance with supporting documentation.

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 here.

Midterm Exam

There will be an in-class midterm exam on Tues. Oct. 10 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. You will need a scientific calculator for the exam.

Final Exam

The final will be held Monday, December 11, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm in BUR 108. It will be comprehensive test covering all material presented in the course but heavily weighted towards the material covered after the midterm. We will review for the final on the last class day. A sample former final is available on the course home page. You will need a scientific calculator for the exam.

Online Discussion

We will be using Piazza for class discussion. If you are not already enrolled for the class from the UT roster, send me your email to enroll you. Class announcements will be posted here and please post general class questions to Piazza.

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 by 11:59 p.m. on the due date. Assignment due dates will be on Mondays and Wednesdays. 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 from 11:59 p.m. on the due date 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 have unfortunately had to fail over 20 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 code or general course material. Never discuss issues directly relevant to problem solutions.

Provisions for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259.

Final Grade

The final grade will be determined as follows:
48%  Assignments
17%  Midterm
27%  Final
 8%  Attendance