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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Text Retrieval and Search Engines by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

736 ratings
161 reviews

About the Course

Recent years have seen a dramatic growth of natural language text data, including web pages, news articles, scientific literature, emails, enterprise documents, and social media such as blog articles, forum posts, product reviews, and tweets. Text data are unique in that they are usually generated directly by humans rather than a computer system or sensors, and are thus especially valuable for discovering knowledge about people’s opinions and preferences, in addition to many other kinds of knowledge that we encode in text. This course will cover search engine technologies, which play an important role in any data mining applications involving text data for two reasons. First, while the raw data may be large for any particular problem, it is often a relatively small subset of the data that are relevant, and a search engine is an essential tool for quickly discovering a small subset of relevant text data in a large text collection. Second, search engines are needed to help analysts interpret any patterns discovered in the data by allowing them to examine the relevant original text data to make sense of any discovered pattern. You will learn the basic concepts, principles, and the major techniques in text retrieval, which is the underlying science of search engines....

Top reviews


Sep 21, 2016

Great course for those trying to understand how ro analyse and process text data. It has the right amount of tools to help you understand the basics of information retrieval and search engines.


Aug 29, 2016

A great overview of text retrieval methods. Good coverage of search engines. A longer course will cover search engine better (remember this is a 6 weeker)

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76 - 100 of 159 Reviews for Text Retrieval and Search Engines

By Dr. M S

Jun 26, 2020

Very good

By Ramakrishnan C

Apr 13, 2019

Good one

By xianzhi w

Jul 20, 2016

like it.

By Ruiwen W

Aug 29, 2020


By Arefeh Y

Nov 07, 2016


By Paulina A Q M

Oct 11, 2016


By August F C

Jul 07, 2016


By Dr J K P

May 21, 2020


By R M

May 07, 2020


By Vinobastalin . T

May 09, 2019


By Miriyala S

Apr 23, 2018


By Ian W

Aug 02, 2018

Good class, knowledge learned. Below are some problems I personally encountered.

* there are almost no explanations of the quiz/exam answers and some questions in quizzes did not match the course progress. However, before the final quiz, there is a small quiz in advance, you can do small quizzes for unlimited times and it resembles the final quizzes. Maybe the author designed this on purpose for the users to learn by trial and error?

Another way is finish courses of the next week, and then come back to finish the quiz of the previous week.

* some concepts require previous knowledge, otherwise you'll have to Google during the class.

* It might take some time to get used to the speaker's accent for non-English speakers.

* suggest that the instructor could use a touch screen or stylus to illustrate on screen.

* The honor missions are out-dated and requires a lot of de-bugging.


Dec 21, 2017

The class content layout is excellent, it gives an overall picture about text retrieve and search engine, also point out the direction of further learning. Professor Zhai teaches excellent too. In lecture, those simple examples help understanding the algorithm very well.

I just hope Professor Zhai can provide more wide or deep class on such topic.

The only drawback is the program assignment is not well maintained. Almost no staff answer questions.

By Eric Y

Dec 12, 2017

Excellent lecture material with many very interesting concepts. Instructor clearly talks about topics and why they're important. -1 star due to: content being on quizzes before being covered in lecture, compilation errors in the programming assignments, errors in submitting programming assignments, and lack of instructor support/feedback on the discussion forms.

By Michael V

Jul 15, 2016

The course is interesting and you can learn a lot. The professor is very knowledgeable in the area of search engines. However the course goes very early into mathematical details without too much context. The programming assignments are great and I would focus more on them as they really show you how the engine works.

By Ayanabha G

Jun 09, 2020

A good start for the NLP aspirants ! But there are some problems need to be addressed. Such as, some quiz problems are given before they've been discussed. Also, I personally felt a bit problem in understanding the English accent of the Professor. Otherwise, a great course, learnt a lot of things !

By Logan V

Jul 14, 2020

Well taught course, although certain topics seemed rushed while others had a long time spent on them. The quizzes were completely messed up though (although I decided not to do the optional programming assignments, based on the discussion forums those have a lot of problems too).

By Ajay K

May 07, 2020

this is a best course if you have interest in information retrieval subject. this course helps me to best understand the concepts of text retrieval. although the field has evolved so much after this course but this course is best for beginners in this field.

By Tim R

Sep 06, 2017

For understanding evaluation of search ranking algorithms, and picking up the ideas behind Learning To Rank, this course is great. The only glitch is that some of the quiz questions ask about material from weeks not yet covered!

By Eduardo I V O

Aug 28, 2016

The videos could not be too longer than they actually are. If this change, could be done, the student or user could have more time to dig into the assignments problems and even read more textbooks related to the main topic.

By Shawn X

Mar 28, 2018

I have learned a lot of concepts through this course, but at a shallow level. It is a great introduction course to IR. It can be improved by adding more programming tasks for hands-on exercise

By Johnny W

Jun 26, 2020

I will keep the last star for not using a more cutting edge programming language, e.g. python. MeTa is not really helpful in the business world and that discounts the value of this course.

By Watana P

May 28, 2017

I found that there were a lot of mathematical function in this course. I need to see the examples of how are those functions applied in the real programming which support the business.

By Yongyi Z

Aug 24, 2018

I'd appreciate Prof.Zhai's lesson design with robust framework. BUT I really can not accept that the mistake that homework putted in wrong week and STILL NOT FIXED AFTER TWO YEARS!

By Ayush S

Feb 18, 2020

This is course provide me a detailed overview of the search engine and some new concepts that I am not aware of . I think now I understand text retrieval techniques