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Two major computing conferences take place this month in the Seattle area: the ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM 2012), which runs February 8–12 in Seattle and focuses on how to improve web search algorithms, and the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2012), which runs February 11–15 in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue and centers on how collaboration can be better supported through technological and design advances. These overlapping symposia mean that the Puget Sound region will be home to even more computer brain power than normal in mid-February.
Recognizing the unique opportunity afforded by these simultaneous conferences, Microsoft Research is sponsoring a Social Search Social, an event that will zero in on the common research interests of these two communities. On February 11, approximately 100 researchers and thought leaders from both conferences will meet at Microsoft Research, where their combined expertise in algorithms, interfaces, information retrieval, and collaborative systems design will, we are certain, establish a network from which the next generation of innovations can arise. Participants will include Microsoft employees, professors, and students from the United States and abroad, and researchers from other corporations.
Researchers will have ample opportunity to mingle and share ideas by participating in several structured and unstructured networking events. Participants can present a single slide about their current research in a fast-paced “madness” session. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, who can resist a “research speed dating” event, which will pair up attendees of the CSCW and WSDM conferences for brief conversations. There will also be plenty of free time for conversation while enjoying a bite to eat—always an excellent way to ignite ideas and collaborations.
This upcoming event has inspired us to create an email distribution list that will allow us to collect and share information for possible collaborations in social search. We invite you to contribute by submitting your research interests and suggestions for collaborative projects. To participate, send an empty email message to Join Social Search to subscribe to the distribution list. Once you have subscribed, you can start sending your ideas to the Social Search Distribution List. It is our hope that this distribution list will provide the start of a framework for community interactions across social search research efforts.
—Meredith Ringel Morris, Microsoft Research, Researcher, Natural Interaction group; and Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research Connections, Director of Semantic Computing