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Release: March 27, 2002

Menczer receives NSF Early Career Development Award

Internet search engines have limitations, but work by Filippo Menczer, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business, may increase their effectiveness. Menczer, who is working to develop an intelligent, topic-driven web crawler, has received one of the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s most prestigious awards, the Early Career Development Award, which will provide approximately $300,000 in project support over the next five years.

Today's search engines cannot keep up with the rapid growth of the Web, Menczer explains. While the Web is made up of approximately seven billion pages, the largest search engines are only able to index one or two billion pages, according to number of recent studies. The task of indexing and retrieving data is so large that the general, centralized design of today's engines often leads to irrelevant results.

Menczer's research is dedicated to building intelligent and adaptive crawler algorithms that will result in a future generation of search engines. By developing distributed crawlers, the search process will become more scalable in relation to the size and the dynamic nature of the Web, and searches will become more personalized and responsive to the user's interests.

"This is a prestigious honor and the Tippie College of Business is very proud to have Filippo as a member of its faculty," states Gary Fethke, dean of the Tippie College of Business. "This award signifies the importance of his work and the potential impact that it may have on future generations and their use of the Internet."

As a member of the Tippie College's Department of Management Sciences, Menczer will be incorporating these concepts into existing and new curriculum within the Ph.D. program in Management Information Systems (MIS). Funding also will foster recruitment and training of quality Ph.D. students and promote continued interdisciplinary efforts in the form of collaborations, seminars, and outreach.

The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards for new faculty members. The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. CAREER awardees are selected on the basis of creative, career-development plans that effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their institution.