Dr. Beheshti to present ""Search Log Analysis of a Children's Portal"

February 3, 2010

photo of Dr. BeheshtiDr. Jamshid Beheshti, principal investigator of "A Virtual Reality interface for children's Web portals" will visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday, Feb. 18 to present "Search Log Analysis of a Children's Portal." The presentation will take place from 10:30-12:00 in Manning Hall, Room 14 (ground floor). Faculty, staff, students and friends are invited to attend the presentation.

A research team comprised of Jamshid Beheshti & Andrew Large analyzed the transaction logs of a children's portal to determine the search patterns when users are presented with four different search options: keyword, topic taxonomy, alphabetical, and advanced.  The portal, History Trek, was created by an intergenerational team comprising adult designers and young students who collaborated over 13 one-hour sessions.  More than 12,000 transactions were analyzed from a large number of system users from across the globe. The results show that young users tend to prefer browsing through alphabetical lists as well as through different levels of the topic taxonomy than keyword searching, which is so prevalent in many search engines and portals.

Jamshid Beheshti holds degrees in Mining Technology, History and Information Studies from British Columbia Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University and University of Western Ontario, respectively.  He has taught at the School of Information Studies at McGill University for more than 25 years, where he has was appointed as the director of the School for six years.  He was later appointed the associate dean of the Faculty of Education, and the interim dean of the Faculty.

Dr. Beheshti is the principal investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant on A Virtual Reality interface for children's Web portals.  In collaboration with his colleagues, he has obtained more than $2 million dollars in research funds over the past decade.  His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Information Processing & Management, and Education for Information among other international journals.  He has been a consultant on several projects with various organizations, including the Libraries and Archives Canada,  Institutes of Higher Education in Indonesia, Kuwait University, and the University of West Indies.  His areas of expertise are children-computer interaction, information retrieval, and library systems.