Internet Search: Past, Present and Future


Date Thursday July 24th 2003
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue 4:00pm, George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

I will survey the short history of Internet Search Engines, from first generation systems that indexed a few million pages to today’s very sophisticated services that access billions of documents in less than a second. I will also describe the economics that drive the evolution of Internet Search services and the analyze their recent business success. Finally, I’ll close with a discussion of particular technologies responsible for the high performance of these services and speculate on future technology directions.


Dr. Jan Pedersen spearheads AltaVista's middle- and long-term product initiatives, including research and development efforts on user-centric, next generation search technologies. Prior to joining AltaVista, Pedersen held senior technical management positions with innovative start-ups pushing the limits of search and data categorization technologies in the electronic customer relationship management (eCRM), peer-to-peer (P2P) and wireless arenas. Pedersen also held advanced technology positions in the consumer and enterprise search sectors, with tenure as Director of Advanced Technology and Director of Search and Spidering for the InfoSeek/Go Network, and Manager of the Advanced Technology Group at Verity, Inc. Pedersen began his career at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford University and a BA in Statistics from Princeton University. He is credited with eleven issued patents and has authored twenty-three refereed publications on information access topics, seven of which are in the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) proceedings.

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