Internet Search Technologies

15-505, Fall 2007




  • First class: August 28, 2007
  • Class lectures: Tuesdays 1:30-2:50pm
  • Location:  Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Google Pittsburgh (lower level of the CIC building)
  • Office hours: Monday 3-4pm or by appointment. Enter through Google reception area
  • Instructors:
    • Alona Fyshe, (412) 297-5526
    • Scott Larsen, (412) 297-5564
    • Jim Lin (TA)
    • Chris Monson, (412) 297-5546
    • Kamal Nigam, (412) 297-5502
  • Class mailing list:
  • Instructor mailing list:



  • None yet.




There are three important components to the grading.  The first is the programming homework assignments.  We expect around six of these, evenly distributed through the semester. The second is short written responses to the assigned reading, due before the lecture covering the material is covered.  We expect around 6-8 of these throughout the semester.  The final component is class participation.  The grading breakdown between these is the following:


  • Programming assignments (55%)
  • Reading responses (30%)
  • Class participation (15%)

Homework resources and collaboration policy

Reading responses and programming homework are to be written and coded individually, and each student should hand in their own work.  We do encourage student collaboration in understanding concepts, figuring out answers and helping each other with problems.  You must indicate on all submitted work each person you collaborated or received help from.

Please consult CMU’s policy on cheating and plagiarism and contact the instructors for any clarifications needed.

Late homework policy

  • Reading responses are due at the beginning of class on the due date.  They will be worth half credit if submitted during the following 48 hours.  After that, they are worth zero credit.
  • Programming assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. You will be allowed 3 total late days without penalty for the entire semester.  For example, you may be late by 1 day on three different assignments or late by three days on one assignment. Once those days are used, they will be worth half credit if submitted late during the following 48 hours.  After that, they are worth zero credit.

Reading responses

One important aspect of this course is learning to read, understand and critique computer science research papers.  Thus, for every paper reading assigned, a roughly one page should be composed.  This response can summarize the paper’s core concepts, expound on approaches taken or not taken, critique experimental methodologies or conclusions, or suggest follow-on studies to build on the described work.    These reading responses are due at the beginning of class in which the reading is discussed.


Class Participation


The format of this class is intended to be very interactive.  To encourage class participation 15% of your grade will come from your involvement in class discussions and also the class mailing list. Please say your name when speaking for the first few classes so we learn who you are.