Building a search engine to drive problem-based learning

Steven Bird, James R. Curran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedings

Abstract

Search engines pervade the digital world, mediating most access to information instantaneously. We have found that students can build search engine components, and even entire search engines, in the context of problem-based learning in introductory and intermediate computer science courses. The courses cover a broad range of topics in algorithms, data structures, and web design, with a heavy emphasis on programming. Additionally, the internet is coupled with the syllabus at many places, from web design and HTML to graph algorithms and pattern matching. This connection enlivens the discussion of otherwise dry topics like searching, sorting, indexing and hashing. Moreover, the challenge of web-scale computing motivates the continuing students in their later study of formal topics like algorithmic complexity, while non-continuing students acquire transferable analytical skills. We report on the experience in search engine projects for driving problem-based learning in computer science courses, for both high school and university students. Our experience shows that such projects are effective in both introductory and intermediate courses, and readily encompass student groups with diverse programming abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking Group Reports on ITiCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2006
Pages153-157
Number of pages5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event11th Annual Joint Conference Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education 2006 - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 26 Jun 200628 Jun 2006

Publication series

NameWorking Group Reports on ITiCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2006

Conference

Conference11th Annual Joint Conference Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education 2006
CountryItaly
CityBologna
Period26/06/0628/06/06

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  • Cite this

    Bird, S., & Curran, J. R. (2006). Building a search engine to drive problem-based learning. In Working Group Reports on ITiCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2006 (pp. 153-157). (Working Group Reports on ITiCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2006). https://doi.org/10.1145/1140124.1140166