Sunday, December 27, 2009

Search engine companies do work in making searches more productive in academic and school settings


So here’s another area for jobs, maybe, as suggested by an article Saturday in the New York Times (Business Day) by Stephanie Olsen, “Helping children find what they need on the Internet,” CNET link here.

The article discusses the way middle school age children use the Internet, and they are more likely to want to ask full questions or use images and icons. And they may not know the appropriate context for putting together lists of keywords.

Instead of focusing on the dangers of the Web for some families, the article takes the position that search engine tools could be designed to help students with lesson plans, especially in math and science, or in developing contexts for studying humanities (with literature).

A good example would be looking for a proof that y=1/x fits the definition of a hyperbola, using parametric equations and trig functions (rotation 45 degrees). The Wikipedia article gives you a head start but it’s hard to find the derivation on the web.

Wikipedia attribution link for conic sections.

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