Rob Capra

Associate Professor, UNC School of Library and Information Science
Rob Capra photo
rcapra@unc.edu
Manning Hall
Pronouns: He/Him/His

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Faculty Expertise:

Human-computer interaction, personal information management, digital information seeking behaviors, tools, and interfaces

Education: 
BS, MS (Computer Science), Washington University
PhD (Computer Science), Virginia Tech

Biography: 
Dr. Robert Capra is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). His research interests include human-computer interaction, personal information management, and interactive information systems. In his research, he studies how people search for information in different contexts and develops innovative tools to support users’ search needs. 

Dr. Capra holds a PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and MS and BS degrees in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. At Virginia Tech, he was part of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction where he investigated multi-platform interfaces, information re-finding, and interfaces for digital libraries. Prior to Virginia Tech, he worked in corporate research and development, spending five years in the Speech and Language Technologies group at SBC Communications (now merged with AT&T Labs) where he focused on voice user interfaces, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

In 2016, Dr. Capra received an NSF CAREER Award to support a project titled “Knowledge Representation and Re-Use for Exploratory and Collaborative Search.” In 2017, he and SILS Associate Professor Jaime Arguello were awarded an NSF grant worth nearly $500,000 to develop and evaluate systems that will automatically display relevant search trails as a form of search assistance to users.

Courses Regularly Taught: 
INLS 523 – Database Systems I
INLS 690 – Usability Testing and Evaluation
INLS 760 – Web Databases
INLS 994 – Doctoral Research

Awards and Recognition:
ECIR Best Paper Award, 2017
Deborah Barreau Award for Teaching Excellence: Faculty Award, UNC SILS, 2013
Best Poster Award, ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 2010

Selected Publications, Papers, Presentations: 
Google Scholar page

Crescenzi, A., Capra, R., Li, Y., Zhang, Y., and Choi, B. An Analysis of Information Types and Cognitive Activities Involved in Cross-session Search (CHIIR 2021) 

Li, Y., Ward, AR., and Capra, R. An Analysis of Information Types and Cognitive Activities Involved in Cross-session Search (CHIIR 2021)

Choi, B., Arguello, J., Capra, R., Ward, AR. OrgBox: A Knowledge Representation Tool to Support Complex Search Tasks (CHIIR 2021)

Li, Y., Capra, R., and Zhang, Y. Everyday Cross-session Search: How and Why Do People search Across Multiple Sessions? To appear: Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2020).

Zhang, Y., Capra, R., and Li, Y. An In-situ Study of Information Needs in Design-related Creative Projects To appear: Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2020).

Arguello, J., and Capra, R. Sources of Evidence for Interactive Table Completion To appear: Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2020).

Li, Y. Interruption and Renewal: How and Why Do People Search Across Sessions? To appear: Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2020).

Crescenzi, A., Li, Y., Zhang, Y., and Capra R. Towards Better Support for Exploratory Search through an Investigation of Notes-to-self and Notes-to-share Proceedings of the 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2019).

Zhang, Y., and Capra, R. Understanding How People use Search to Support their Everyday Creative Tasks. Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2019).

Choi, B., Capra, R., and Arguello, J. The Effects of Working Memory during Search Tasks of Varying Complexity. Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2019).

Avula, S., Arguello, J., Capra, R., Dodson, J., Huang, Y., and Radlinski. F. Embedding Search into a Conversational Platform to Support Collaborative Search. Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2019).

Capra, R., Arguello, J., O'Brien, H., Li, Y., and Choi, B. The Effects of Manipulating Task Determinability on Search Behaviors and Outcomes. Proceedings of the 41st International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2018).

ECIR 2017 Best Paper AwardCapra, R., Arguello, J., and Zhang, Y. The Effects of Search Task Determinability on Search Behavior. Proceedings of the 39th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2017).

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