Doug Oard

University of Maryland | Department of Computer Science

Lecture Information:
  • January 13, 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • ECS 241
doug oard photo

Speaker Bio

Douglas Oard is a Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, with joint appointments in the College of Information Studies and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). He is on sabbatical this year at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. Dr. Oard earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. His research interests center around the use of emerging technologies to support information seeking by end users. Additional information is available at


Civil litigation in this country relies on each side making relevant evidence available to the other, a process known as “discovery.” The explosive growth of information in digital form has led to an increasing focus on how search technology can best be applied to balance costs and responsiveness in what has come to be known as “e-discovery.” This is now a multi-billion dollar business, one in which new vendors are entering the market frequently, usually with impressive claims about the efficacy of their products or services. Courts, attorneys, and companies are all actively looking to understand what should constitute best practice, both in the design of search technology and in how that technology is employed. In this talk I will begin with an overview of the e-discovery process. I’ll then use that background to motivate a discussion of which aspects of that process the Legal Track of the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) sought to model, with a particular focus on two novel aspects of evaluation design: (1) recall-focused evaluation in large collections, and (2) modeling an interactive process for “responsive review” with fairly high fidelity. I’ll then talk about some of our more recent work on e-discovery, including work on cost-sensitive design and evaluation of classifiers for responsiveness, development of an interactive tool to support review for privilege, and creation of a new email test collection. And I’ll finish up with a few remarks on a new project that builds on our privilege review experience to look more broadly at protecting sensitive content in large email collections.