Teaching Key Topics in Computer Science and Information Systems through a Web Search Engine Project

Michael Chau, Zan Huang, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Advances in computer and Internet technologies have made it more and more important for information technology professionals to acquire experience in a variety of aspects, including new technologies, system integration, database administration, and project management. To provide students with a chance to acquire such skills, we designed a project called “Build Your Search Engine in 90 Days,” in which students were required to build a domain-specific Web search engine in a semester. In this paper we review the tools and resources available to students and report our experiences in having students to work on this project in a course at the University of Arizona. We also review two tools, called AI Spider and AI Indexer, we developed for students in this project. We highlight a few search engines that were created by the students and suggest some future directions in improving the tools and expanding the project. Categories and Subject Descriptors: D.2 [Software]: Software Engineering; H.3.1 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Content Analysis and Indexing; H.3.3 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Information Search and Retrieval; H.3.5 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Online Information Services; H.3.7 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Digital Libraries; H.5.4 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: Hypertext/Hypermedia; K.3.2 [Computers and Education]: Computer and Information Science Education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2
Number of pages1
JournalACM Journal on Educational Resources in Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Design
  • Web computing
  • Web search engine
  • Web spiders
  • education
  • indexing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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