I just finished my second term and had a harsh cold Canadian winter. (First time I saw snowfall in my life, and it was fun!) I took a lot of exciting courses and learnt a lot of new things.

One of the courses I took was Unstructured Data taught by the Duo Daniel Lizzote and Hanan Lutifyya who are excellent researchers and professors in their own right. Dan comes from a Machine Learning background, and Hanan is a seasoned researcher in the distributed systems space. The topic of a Distributed system I have taken a lot of liking. More on that some other day.

This course is an introductory one on search engine design and analysis. I don’t know why it isn’t called Introduction to Information Retrival after the famous book by researchers at Google and Standford. It dives deep into how copious amounts of data are stored and efficient methods created to access it. Ranging from various Indexing strategies, Efficient data structures and data processing methods (Remembers painful nights debugging Hadoop assignments ), Systems architecture of such system and the implications for Hardware, cost etc. As most of the academics around the world were disrupted by COVID-19. This course was no exception. The Instructors did their best to give all the good sources for further readings, some of which I have skipped and will revisit some other day on this blog.

Search engines are some of the fantastic software built by humans, and a lot of sweat and tears go into making them efficient and user-friendly, and that’s something I have come to respect. It is one of the most exciting topics I have come across in computer science.

I will create and maintain a new blog post for links of Interesting stuff I find about Information Retrieval. For now, stay safe, stay healthy and try to learn something new today.