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ACM SIGIR Honors Leader in Information Retrieval Who Influenced Theory and Practice

Germany’s Fuhr Laid Foundations for Searches that Use Query Logs

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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PORTLAND, August 13, 2012 – ACM’s Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) today recognized Norbert Fuhr for his pioneering contributions to approaches that now dominate the search industry.   Fuhr, a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), developed probabilistic retrieval models for databases and XML, the markup language used over the Internet.  His research on probabilistic models anticipated the current interest in learning to rank approaches in search operations.  Fuhr is receiving the 2012 Gerard Salton Award at the ACM SIGIR conference in Portland, Oregon, where he is presenting the opening keynote address. 

In addition to his contributions to theoretical models of search, Fuhr worked on probabilistic approaches to information retrieval (IR) in the 1980s and 1990s, including research into parameter estimation. His efforts demonstrated the value of estimating model parameters using features extracted from training queries. 

Fuhr’s current research focuses on various aspects of information retrieval such as document mining, distributed IR, interactive retrieval, and the user-oriented design of IR systems.  He has published more than 200 papers in the fields of IR, databases and digital libraries. A past chair of the IR specialist group of the German Informatics Society from 1991 to 2008, he also chaired the program committees of major international IR conferences, and sits on the editorial boards of two international journals.

Currently on the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Fuhr was an assistant professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt and associate professor at the Technical University of Dortmund. He received a Masters degree and a Ph.D. (Dr.) in computer science from the TU Darmstadt.

The Gerard Salton Award is presented every three years to an individual who has made significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in information retrieval.  It is named in honor of Gerard Salton, developer of SMART (System for the Mechanical Analysis and Retrieval of Text) at Cornell University in the 1960s, and the first recipient of this award in 1983.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. 

The ACM Special Interest Group on Information (SIGIR) focuses on all aspects of information storage, retrieval and dissemination, including research strategies, output schemes and system evaluations.  Through its conferences, publications, and awards, it addresses issues ranging from theory to user demands in the application of computers to the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval, and distribution of information.

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