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Researchers from Rutgers to speak at iSchool about online expression of opposition
Three researchers from Rutgers University will speak at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 12:15 p.m. in the Katzer Room, Room 347 of Hinds Hall as part of the iSchool’s ongoing Brown Bag Presentation Series.
The researchers, who are from Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, will talk about their work on two new studies. The first study explores how people express opposition online, and the second study seeks to better understand the complex language processing that takes place during searching.
Professors Nina Wacholder and Smaranda Muresan will present “Are Those Fighting Words? The Expression of Opposition in Online Text.” Their research combines communication theory and natural language processing to investigate how people express opposition in online environments. They will discuss their efforts to build a formal model of opposition informed by theoretical work in communication.
Afterwards, Wacholder will team up with Catherine L. Smith to present “Why Users Don’t Take Suggestions: Semantic Processing during the Search Process.” Wacholder and Smith’s research attempts to understand why people frequently don’t use the search terms suggested to them. Wacholder and Smith try to discover from people’s outside behavior the complicated language and visual processing that takes place in their heads when they use search engines. Wacholder and Smith’s project won a Google Research Award earlier this year.
Wacholder is an associate professor at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Her research is grounded in both information science and computational linguistics. Her work aims to comprehend properties of human language such as ambiguity, irregularity and redundancy and their impact on the exchange of information among people and between people and computers. She also focuses on the problem of how to use computer technology to improve people’s access to information stored in the form of language.
Muresan is an assistant professor at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Rutgers University’s Center for Media Studies. Before coming to Rutgers, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. Her research interests include digital libraries, computational approaches for language learning and understanding, machine translation and relational learning.
Smith will receive a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in January 2010. Her dissertation, “Adaptive Search Behavior: A Response to Query Failure,” focuses on how people use interactive search systems and what they do when searching becomes difficult or complex.