Cross-Language Information Access: Looking Backward, Looking Forward
Douglas W. Oard
College of Information Studies and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

The problem of providing people with the information that they seek when that information happens to be in an unfamiliar language is not new. Rather, what is new is what we can do to help address that challenge. To illustrate this point, Iíll start my talk with a brief recap of two earlier generations of automated support for cross-language information access, the first from roughly 1964 to 1985, and the second from roughly 1989 to the present. With that as background, Iíll then take stock of where we are, and where I see unmet needs that call for capabilities beyond what can currently be accomplished. Iíll conclude with a few observations about how we might expect the role of the research community to evolve as progressively more capable cross-language information access technologies become commercially viable.

About the Speaker

Douglas Oard holds joint appointments as an Associate Professor in the College of Information Studies and in the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. Dr. Oardís research interests center around the use of emerging technologies to support information seeking by end users. One of the leading researchers on cross-language information retrieval, he has helped lead nine evaluation campaigns focused on that problem for the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) and the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF). In addition to his work on ranking algorithms and interaction design for cross-language information retrieval, his recent research has focused on support for search and sense making in large collections of conversational media. Additional information is available at