Report C -Search and content retrieval engines on Internet

Amaia Di Pietro, Isabel Iglesias, Maria Moreno and Beatriz Quintano

0. Abstract

In this report our aim is very clear: deepen into the on-line searchers using an hypothetical case, the will of a number of students, graduated in English Philology, in studying a postgraduate course about Human Language Technologies.

We have started in the very moment in which we realized that the only way of finding this type of information is the Internet. The cause is that the Internet is the unique worldwide source that can contain information about such an exact topic.

We have chosen three different on-line searchers called Yahoo, Google and Lycos, to find information about the Universities where this postgraduate course is given. To achieve it, we have used the "Advanced Search", using specific terms such us "language processing" or "human language technologies".

After doing this, we have compared all the web-pages we have found and we have selected the one that we think is the most complete, giving reasons such us that is a well-known University, that the program is really updated and wide, and so on.

In the final part of the report we have extended the way we have worked to find the information, explained the problems we have had, etc.

1. Introduction

We can see, nowadays, the importance of "searchers" on the Internet. It is a very quick way of looking for every kind of information without needing the web pages ( which are most of the times very difficult to find), in which you can find the information you are looking for.

Using a searcher, such as the well-known Google, Lycos or Yahoo is very easy, the only thing one has to do is to type the exact words you want the searcher to find; this is one of the reasons why everybody uses those searchers when they need to write a paper, when they want to look for their celebrity´s biography, or even when they want to look for the ingredients needed to prepare a Gazpacho.

But, although these kind of searchers are very useful, we can find in those searchers what are called "Advanced Searchers" that are as quick as the other searchers but find more reliable information. Many people do not know or do not take into account this option when looking for information.

2. Human Language Technologies and Postgraduate Courses

The best searcher where we have found all the information in which this report is based is Google. We have typed "language processing" "postgraduate courses" with inverted commas instead of using the "Advanced Searcher" option, in order to spend less time. The web-page we have found is:

Inside this page there is an index where we can access to other pages related to the topic chosen. After visiting several postgarduate courses of different Universities all over the world we have selected two courses to compare the available information: The University of Cambridge, and UMIST (Manchester), whose web-pages are and respectively.

The Cambrige's postgaraduate course

M. Phil.

Degree Courses

English and Applied Linguistics

This M.Phil. provides a 9 months' taught course in descriptive, theoretical and applied linguistics together with training in research design and method. It is also designed to serve as an initial period of study for students in the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics who intend to continue with work towards either the M.Litt. or the Ph.D. degree.

Lectures and classes are provided in four core-areas: Forms of English (English phonology, orthography with practical phonetics; English morphology and syntax); Meaning in English (semantics and pragmatics and discourse analysis); Language Acquisition and Development (the social context of language acquisition and theoretical issues in first and second language acquisition); Psychology of Language Processing and Language Learning (monolingual and bilingual language processing and psychological mechanisms of language learning).

In addition, candidates must undertake intensive study in two areas. One of these may be chosen from the core-areas, with the other selected from a list of options; or both may be selected from the list of options. The list of options will include some or all of the following: Assessment of language proficiency; contrastive linguistics; morphology and language acquisition; pedagogical grammar; psycholinguistics (connectionist perspectives); translation and linguistics and vocabulary. Candidates will also be able to follow options provided within the M.Phil. programme in Linguistics.

All candidates will be required to follow the classes in Research Methods and candidates who intend to proceed to the M.Litt. or Ph.D. degree take a test on Research Methods.

The examination consists of:

a) Two essays not exceeding 8,000 words in length each, on subjects approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of English;

b) eight essays, each of not more than 2,000 words in length, on topics chosen from a list of topics announced by the Degree Committee, and falling within the following fields, two topics being chosen from each field:

At the discretion of the Examiners the examination may include an oral examination on the work submitted by the candidate

The UMIST's postgraduate course

Natural Language Processing Full Time MSc (1 Year) for entry 2003

Level: Postgraduate

Department: Department of Language and Linguistics

Contact information about this department is given on the right hand side of the page. If you have any queries about the course please contact the departmental admissions staff, who will be happy to help you.

Programme information menu

Minimum Entry Requirements

Minimum English Language Entry Requirements

Course Description

A taught programme covering programming, computational linguistics and supporting disciplines relating to natural language

Minimum Entry Requirements

UK 2(ii) honours degree or equivalent

Minimum English Language Entry Requirements

IELTS (6.5), TOEFL (570), CBTOEFL (230) or equivalent

We have finally chosen the Cambridge postgraduate course, because, comparing it to the UMIST we have found that the first one gives much more complete information about the course(subjects, examinations, etc.). the progam that the University of Cambridge provides is the best one in relation to content.


3. Conclusion

In this report we have tried to look for information about postgraduates courses in Language Technologies. In order to find data about them on the Internet we have used Yahoo, Google and Lycos. What is more, we have used the "advanced search" so that we could get better results. Despite of the fact that we have used this advanced search we have not found many courses on the theme we were looking for. One of the problems has been that there is many information on the Internet about undergraduates but not enough about postgraduates.

Besides, we have found other problems that are related not with the amount of information but with the capacities of the searchers. Although the terms " language technologies", language processing", " language engineering" and "computational linguistics" refer to the same idea, when you ask the searcher to look for one of them it cannot relate the term to the others, so you have a lack of information. In addition to this, if you are looking for a course and you write the terms in English, the searcher would not look for a course which its name was in Italian, German or any other language.

To finish with, we have to say that the searcher which has provided us with most of the information has been Google and using the terms "language processing" postgraduates.

4. References