cs646, Fall 2014

cs646, information retrieval
James Allan
Fall 2014

CMPSCI 646 is a graduate-level course in Information Retrieval, the science and engineering of indexing, organizing, searching, and making sense of unstructured or mostly unstructured information, particularly text. The class focuses primarily on the underlying models used for effective search and organization, but includes some discussion of efficiency concerns.

For Fall 2014, cs646 is using the University Moodle system. Most of the information on this page is repeated in the class' Moodle site. Your UMass userid and password will be required for access. Guest access is possible; the password will be announced in class.

Registering for Fall 2014?

Enrollment in the class has already reached the capacity of the classroom. If you are interested in taking the class, you may request an override using the on-line overrides form. You will receive an acknowledgement message that indicates when you will be notified of a decision.

You are also welcome to come to the first class to get a better sense of the class. Once students drop the class (and it is likely that a few will), students who have requested an override will be admitted until the class fills again.


The following topics will be covered, though the order will be determined in part by student needs and interests:

Meeting times

The course will meet for two lectures a week: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, 2:30-3:45pm, in the Computer Science Building, room 140. That building is located smack in the middle of B2 on this map.)


The following texts are recommended for this course. You should definitely acquire at least one of them.

Assignments and exams

Your grade in this class will be based upon the following:

Collaboration and help

You may discuss the ideas behind assignments with others. You may ask for help understanding class and IR concepts. You may study with friends. However...

The work that you submit must be your own. It may not be copied from the web, from another student in the class, or from anyone else. If you stumble upon and use a solution from the textbook or from class, you are expected to acknowledge the source of the work (for example, "// The following way of solving this problem is on page 215 of the textbook").

Your effort on exams (mini or final) must be your own.

Your homework submissions must be your own work and not in collaboration with anyone.

Your project work must be your own work and not a copy of someone else's work, nor done in collaboration with anyone.