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Yahoo Taps Ramakrishnan As Social Search Research Head

Yahoo Taps Ramakrishnan As Social Search Research Head

Yahoo has taken yet another major step to show how serious they are about their commitment to Social Search with the naming of academic database expert Raghu Ramakrishnan to head Yahoo’s research on their human assisted search projects.

Rueters reports that Ramakrishnan, Vice President and Yahoo research fellow in charge of defining the strategy behind Yahoo’s “social search” system, based on his expertise in databases, data-mining and privacy-preserving technologies.

“At Yahoo you have this unique opportunity to integrate conventional search with Flickr,, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Mail,” Ramakrishnan told Rueters. “How do you take all this search activity and learn from it?”

More info from the Yahoo announcement; Ramakrishnan joins Yahoo! from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he served as a professor of computer science and a co-founder of the Data Mining Institute. Ramakrishnan will apply his experience in privacy, data mining and the online community systems he has developed over the course of his career to further ensure the high-quality, safe online experience trusted by hundreds of millions of Yahoo! users.

“We are proud and excited to have someone of Raghu’s academic caliber and entrepreneurial approach to help Yahoo! Research with our commitment to building the new science of the Internet,” said Usama Fayyad, chief data officer and senior vice president. “Raghu joins a rapidly growing assembly of the leading thinkers and scientists in key fields of this new emerging science who have chosen to join Yahoo! to deliver on this ambitious goal and to help build innovative products and services that are essential to consumers’ lives.”

Ramakrishnan co-founded and served as chairman and chief technology officer of QUIQ, a company that pioneered online question-answering communities as well as online collaborative customer support and knowledge management communities for companies like Business Objects, Compaq, and Sun. He is co-author of the widely-read text Database Management Systems (WCB/McGraw-Hill) and has published over 150 research papers throughout his career.

“Yahoo! fosters an open environment for innovation, engaging the top thinkers in data mining, microeconomics and other fields to shape the future of the Web,” said Ramakrishnan. “This is the perfect opportunity to apply my interests and experiences in social search and database management to help people connect to other people and to the information they need, making the Web a natural extension of their everyday communities.”

Ramakrishnan is the chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) and serves on the boards of the Very Large Data Base (VLDB) Endowment and ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD). Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of the ACM, and recipient of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and an ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award. He is an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems and was recently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery.

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Yahoo Taps Ramakrishnan As Social Search Research Head

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