HCIR 2009: A Pre-CFP

We’re still a week or two away from officially announcing the 3rd Annual Workshop on Human Computer Information Retrieval (HCIR ’09), but there are some details I wanted to share now, as well as a favor I’d like to ask of the community.

First, the details.

The workshop will be held on October 23, 2009 at the Catholic Univesity of America, in Washington, DC. We have a great keynote speaker lined up, but I’ll save that for the official announcement. As in the past couple of years, attendees will be expected to engage as active participants, and the format of the workshop will increase the emphasis on participation.

Second, the request for a favor.

Since we will be in the nation’s capital (please forgive the U.S.-centrism), we see this year’s workshop as an opportunity for the HCIR community to engage with the federal public sector. Seeing the success that Vivek Kundra, now our national CIO, has had with the Apps for Democracy program in DC should inspire anyone who believes in the value of an informed citizenry. The struggles of intelligence agencies to make sense of enormous amounts of data that is quite literally a matter of life and death call for approaches that best combine the skills of people and machines. And we all want economists and public policy experts to have the best access to any information that could help them help us.

If you are in the federal public sector or know people who are, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about HCIR ’09. Ideally, we are hoping for a U.S. government agency to join Catholic, Endeca, and Microsoft Research in sponsoring the event. But this appeal isn’t about money–even before the recession, we ran the workshop with fiscal restraint. Rather, we’d like to make sure that we make effective use of the workshop’s location to educate the public sector about HCIR–and to educate the HCIR community about the needs of the public sector.

If you would like to get involved, please reach out to me, either publicly here or privately by email.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.