Downie to present keynote at CHIIR 2023

Stephen Downie
J. Stephen Downie, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Co-Director of the HathiTrust Research Center

Professor and Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie will be the keynote speaker for the 2023 ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2023), which will be held on March 19-23 in Austin, Texas. In addition to information interaction and retrieval, the multidisciplinary conference explores topics such as human-human information interaction, novel interaction paradigms, new evaluation methods, and related research from various fields.

In the keynote presentation, "Why We Retrieve: An (Im)precise Recalling of 30 Years Leading from Behind," Downie will reflect on key similarities between Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and retrieval tasks within the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), which he codirects. HTRC is a collaboration between the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the HathiTrust to enable advanced computational access to text found in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

"I was fortunate to work in the area of MIR at a time when the field was emerging and its technology was mostly an imagining of future vapourware," he said. "Through the Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange (MIREX) and the opportunities it afforded me to orchestrate interactions with veritable virtuosos of music and Information Retrieval (IR), I came to appreciate just how much I did not understand about IR and its ever-evolving themes."

His talk will touch on retrieval goals and the roles of metadata, automation, and human-centered search strategies.

Downie was the founding president of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) and recently served on the ISMIR board. He holds a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition, along with master's and doctoral degrees in library and information science, all from the University of Western Ontario.

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