I work at Google...
... where I write. Sometimes internal reports, sometimes papers for scientific publication, and sometimes books for everyone.
I'm a practicing scientist. That means I experiment and I analyze. I do field studies and I try to understand what makes Google users tick.
Why do they sometimes query Google for [ first ], and then not click on anything?
Why do some Google users only ask one query, while others can go on and on?
What's different about their search experiences?
Why? This is what drives my work: What do people search for? How do they do it? How do they understand and use what they've found.
My book is out!
The Joy of Search: A Google Insider's Guide to Going Beyond the Basics
Upcoming book events
Nothing until 2021! Stay tuned.
Read my blog about how to be a better searcher: SearchResearch
Most Recent Work
My blog: SearchResearch I started writing a blog about search and how people learn to research (and a few other topics that are related as well). Come read this if you're interested in improving your ability to search, if you want to learn about sensemaking or are curious about how to teach search or research skills in your classroom. I post roughly 3 to 4 times each week. Each Wednesday I post a Search Challenge that tests your ability to search. (And then I post the answers on Friday!)
Search Education: I run a small team at Google that is actively creating materials to teach people how to search. You can find LOTS of teaching resources at the Google Search Education Evangelism web site.
AGoogleADay.com If you want to keep your search skills up, consider doing AGoogleADay.com each morning. It's a short, simple search challenge that will keep your skills sharp! (And you should be learning something new about the world every day as a side-effect.)
MOOC: AdvancedPowerSearchingWithGoogle.com A bunch of Googlers and I put together a MOOC on how to be a better searcher. The first two times we offered the MOOC we had good success (> 250K students have registered for the class since we first offered it in July, 2012). We last offered this class on January 23, 2013. Look for a return sometime in the winter of 2015.
To receive announcements about future search-related classes, add yourself to the Search Education Google Groups mailing list
If you are specifically interested in search classes for K-12 education, join: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/google-search-education-k-12 On these lists we'll only send you a message when a new class is being offered. Note that users can't post to these groups (only we can!), so you won't be sent random messages.
"Basic Power Searching with Google" This course is now in "Evergreen" mode, meaning that you can take the class at any time. Alas, we no longer offer certificates. (It's a long story.)
We often hold classes at the Googleplex for teachers and librarians. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you'd like me (or one of my staff) to come and teach at your school or library.
Click Here to sign up for the NEXT CLASS notification.
Tip Sheets (a list of summary cheat sheets for using Google)
All of the Google Advanced Operators All of the operators I know about, including search idioms (such as using the wildcard operator inside of double quotes).
Advanced Skills TipSheet Originally made for the IRE 2016 conference.
Videos from lectures and classes I've taught
My talk to the League of Women Voters about "Determining Credibility & Truth"
(My part starts at 53:07 in the video.)
April 2, 2018. Palo Alto, CA.
"On the nature of truth, credibility, and knowledge" talk.
Oct 25, 2018. MacMillan STEM summit, Austin, TX.
Course on "Social Computing." Originally offered February 23 - June 2, 2017. U. Zürich, Switzerland.
22 lectures. The complete syllabus (with links to videos, notes, slides).
"Search is not yet a solved problem" U. Washington DUB Seminar, Seattle, WA (Feb 1, 2017) Vimeo video of the talk.
"The future of learning" Informatics Seminar, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA (March 28, 2017)
"How to get past fake news: My top ten search Challenges" EdTech Summit (Roseville, CA, Jan 15, 2017)
"Learning to Read Online" Presentation at Cognitive Science Society, Pasadena, CA (July, 2015)
"Digging In With Google" class at Palo Alto (Gunn High School) EdTech Summit (aka GAFE) using Google Books to understand context. (July 11, 2015)
"Library of the Future" American Library Association, San Francisco, CA (June 29, 2015)
"What do you need to know? Learning and knowing in the Age of the Internet EdTech Summit, Roseville, CA (Feb 7, 2015)
"Basics of Google Search Skills" (PDF) Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 8, 2015)
"Google Maps: What can you do? (PDF) Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 29, 2015)
"Credibility" (PDF) Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 15, 2015)
"Google Books" (PDF) Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 22, 2015)
My TEDx talk on "The Revolution in Asking and Answering Questions" (Feb 21, 2014)
Q&A at ICERI, Valencia, Spain (2019)
"So you think you know how to search? Advanced search skills for everyone" (Google presentation)
Lecture presented at Palo Alto Library (May 21, 2014)
"So you think you know how to search? Search basics for everyone" (Google presentation)
Lecture presented at Palo Alto Library (May 7 & 14, 2014)
"What does it mean to be literate in the Age of Google?"
ACTEM Conference (Maine Education Conference), Augusta, ME (October 11, 2013)
"Digging In With Google"
Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference, San Antonio, TX (June 22, 2013) Tipsheet and slides.
Advanced Power Searching Skills for Business Journalists. Arizona State University, Phoenix; AZ (March 19, 2013)
Screencast version. (50 mins TRT)
Mindtools: What it means to be literate now... Jan 8, 2013. Google Apps for Education Summit, Honolulu, HI
150K+ students per class: What it takes to design, operate, and run a MOOC at scale Nov 12, 2012. Future of Information Alliance presentation, Washington D.C.
Advanced Google Search Techniques for Investigative Reporting June 15, 2012. Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, Boston, MA
What does it mean to be literate in the Age of Google? February 28, 2012. Princeton Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture.
Video of my presentation 88:21 TRT
Sensemaking III: What people do to search-for and organize complex information, Friday, January 20, 2012, 12:30PM. Stanford, Gates Building. 1:12:09 TRT
Using Google Scholar and other web resources for education, Jan 6, 2012
YouTube video of the talk. 41:15 TRT
U Md Future of Information Alliance, November 14, 2011.
my part is from 14:00 to 34:00
Search / Research as Literate Skills. Global Science Communication Fellows Workshop, Google, June 13, 2011.
Google Innovation, Culture and Practices CITRIS, UC Berkeley, March 15, 2011.
The Future of Information Services, Services Sciences Innovation Institute (SRII), San Jose, April 1, 2011.
Why is search sometimes easy and sometimes hard?: Understanding serendipity and expertise in the mind of the searcher,
4th Human-Computer-Information-Retrieval workshop 2010, New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers). August 22, 2010 (PDF)
So you think you know how to search? 20 things you probably ought to know, ISTE 2010 Google Exhibit presentation, Denver, CO (PDF) (June 27 & 28, 2010)
The mind of the researcher, AKLA keynote presentation (Anchorage, AK) (PDF 5.2Mb) (Mar 5, 2010)
Short tutorial on logs analysis for HCI, HCI Consortium Meeting, Snow Mountain Ranch, CO (Feb 25, 2010) with Robin Jeffries, Sue Dumais and Jaime Teevan
Finding what you seek: How Google users think about search (and how they actually search), UC Merced, KL 202,
Invited lecture (part of "Mind, Science & Society" series, October 12, 2009)
Large data sets change the way we think about HCI, HCIC Conference, Fraser, CO (Feb 6, 2009
Become a Super Internet Searcher Slides for RAFT Google Basic Search Skills, RAFT, San Jose, CA (Jan 29, 2009)
(Re)Searching with Google: Looking for the core of expertise (PDF 4.7 Mb) UCSF library. San Francisco, CA (Nov 7, 2008).
Search Strategies and Tactics: Internet search for teachers. (PPT 6.0 Mb) Covers keyword choice, query refinement, other kinds of media,
advanced operators (minus, site:, link:), credibility assessment. Presented at Google, Mountain View, CA (Sept 10, 2008)
Library Internet Search Skills presentation (PDF 3.5Mb) Basics of Internet Search. A hands-on class I give at Bay Area libraries, schools, etc. (2008)
How humans behave under high task interruption loads (PDF 1.1Mb) Presentation at FOO Camp in Sebastopol, CA (June 23, 2007)
session on human attention, with Kathy Sierra and Linda Stone
Select Recent Papers (only the past couple of years, thank heavens)
Roll, Ido, Russell, Daniel M., Gašević, Dragan. “Learning at Scale” International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Education (June, 2018)
Russell, Daniel M., and Svetlana Yarosh. "Can we look to science fiction for innovation in HCI?" interactions 25.2 (2018): 36-40.
Glassman, Elena L., and Daniel M. Russell. "DocMatrix: self-teaching from multiple sources" Proceedings of the 79th ASIS&T Annual Meeting: Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives through Information & Technology. American Society for Information Science, 2016. (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Russell, Daniel M. "Simple is Good:Observations of Visualization Use Amongst the Big Data Digerati." Proceedings of the International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces. ACM, 2016.
Russell, D. M., “What do you need to know to use a search engine? Why we still need to teach research skills” AI Magazine 36(4) (Dec 1, 2015).
Russell, D. M., Teevan, J., Morris, M. R., Hearst, M., & Chi, E. H. (2015, April). “Design for Searching & Finding” In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2457-2458). ACM.
Bederson, Benjamin B., Daniel M. Russell, and Scott Klemmer. "Introduction to online learning at scale." ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) 22.2 (2015): 5.
Kiczales, G., Russell, D. M., Woolf, B. (editors) Proceedings of the Second (2015) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, Vancouver, British Columbia. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2724660# (2015)
Russell, Daniel. "Mindtools: what does it mean to be literate in the age of Google?." Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 30.3 (2015): 5-6.
Russell, D. M., “Understanding user behavior at three scales: The AGoogleADay story” pp 199-214. Computer Games and Software Engineering, by W. Scacchi, K. Cooper. Taylor & Francis. (2015)
Russell, D. M., “Research skills matter: How to teach them” chapter in: Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom. by E. Wojcicki, L. Izumi, A Chang (2014) Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
Russell, D. M., E. Chi, chapter in: Ways of Knowing in Human-Computer Interaction, Olson, J., Kellogg, W. (2014) Chapter: “Looking Back: Retrospective Study Methods for HCI” p 373-394. (2014) Springer.
Dumais, Susan, Robin Jeffries, Daniel M. Russell, Diane Tang, and Jaime Teevan. "Understanding user behavior through log data and analysis." chapter in: Ways of Knowing in Human-Computer Interaction, Olson, J., Kellogg, W. (2014) p. 349-372
Williams, J. J., Kizilcec, R. F., Russell, D. M., & Klemmer, S. R. (2014, April). "Learning innovation at scale." In CHI'14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 131-134). ACM.
Wilkowski, J., Russell, D. M., Deutsch, A. “Student Skill and Goal Achievement in the Mapping with Google MOOC” ACM Learning at Scale Conference, Atlanta, GA (2014)
Wilkowski, J., Russell, D. M., Deutsch, “A Self-evaluation in Advanced Power Searching and Mapping with Google MOOCs” ACM Learning at Scale Conference, Atlanta, GA (2014)
Russell, D. M. “Measuring learned skill behaviors post-MOOC” In CHI'14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2233-2238). (2014, April).
Russell, D. M. “A Google A Day Tearoff Calendar 2014” Workman Publishing (New York) 10,000 calendars printed; sold in bookstores and online. (2013) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Google-Day-Page-A-Day-2014-Calendar/dp/0761175431/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_0/278-5758331-2797761 (Used ones are now $141.)
Even MORE Video Content
1MM: A "1MM" is a "1 Minute Morceau" (or, in plural form, "morceaux"). These are very short videos that I've made to illustrate various points about search that keep coming up time and time again. I've tried to make them short, interesting, insightful, and occasionally funny. Let me know what you think. Here's a sample:
And a longer list of them:
Recently, we've started making videos explaining how search works. These four are w/ Sal Khan at KhanAcademy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kGEP-0Ttw -- Khan Academy--“Search by Image” (5 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG9hjtAXufg -- Khan Academy -- "Recycling in Mumbai" (8 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m7j-JCW8wU – Khan Academy -- “Finding the shortest president” (4 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGQIniksGlo – Khan Academy “Population growth rate of India
and the US” (12 mins)
We're doing others as well. Here are a few:
Google Query Formulation (Dan talking with Udi Manber)
Google Search Results Page Overview (1/20/12) -- how the results page is organized
And even more recently, I recorded a Hangout-On-Air interview with Salman Khan about his book:
Hangout Interview with Sal Khan (10/17/12)
Content for Classes On Search
I often teach classes on how to use Google more effectively. (Google is easy to use now; but with a few tips, you can REALLY improve you ability to find things.)
These are the materials I use. If you're a teacher and want to re-use some of these materials, feel free! You might drop me a line to let me know what you're doing, but really, use with abandon!
Lesson plans for teaching search: Search education lesson plans. (16 different lessons on how to search--at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty)
Basic class: "So you think you know how to search? Search basics for everyone" (Google presentation)
Intermediate class: Intermediate Internet Search Skills (PDF; covers topics between basic and advanced!)
Advanced class: Advanced Search Techniques: Slides (PDF, 5.6Mb; has a good problem set; research literacy; overview of different Google content types; assessing web page credibility)
Practicum class: Practicum for search for teachers... (PDF, 2.6Mb; advanced problem set; review of CSEs, Alerts, search web history, Toolbar)
Teacher's class: Search Strategies and Tactics: Internet search for teachers. (PPT 6.0 Mb; A 2 hour hands-on tutorial on search intended for teachers. Covers keyword choice, query refinement, other kinds of media, advanced operators (minus, site:, link:), credibility assessment. All in 2 hours. Whew!)
Web Credibility: How do you learn to tell if something is credible or not on the web? Web Credibility (PDF 3.1Mb; a 2 hour hands-on class for teachers).
Search for Librarians: Top 12 Things You Need to Know
(PDF, 3.4Mb; covers 12 short lessons on different methods for search. 1 hour class. Posted: October 14, 2009)
Advanced search: Advanced Internet Search, Santa Clara City Library (Santa Clara) (Oct 17, 2008)
Advanced search for librarians: Advanced Search for Librarians, AKLA (Anchorage, AK) (Mar 6, 2010)
New Search Education Site: Newer Google site for Search Education. (1/1/2014)
A set of search Challenges (pulled from my blog) that are useful for teaching: bit.ly/Dan-10-favorite
List of all the Google Search properties I know that are useful for searching
Web Search - aggregated search over web content, images, videos, news, books
Book Search - as many of the world's books as we have scanned
Groups Search - search for Google groups
Video Search - find videos (more than just YouTube)
YouTube Search - find videos just within YouTube
Dictionary - use [ define ?? ] to define your term
Public Data Explorer - a large collection of public data sets you can search
Dataset Search (beta)
Data Table Search (alpha)
Trends - search for trends in Google search queries worldwide
Earth - also available as a separate app you need to download
Finance - financial information on businesses
Images - pictures
Flights - find the best / cheapest / fastest flight (and book them)
Maps - Google's maps (including StreetView)
News - aggregated news sources
Scholar - access the scholarly literature (AND US legal documents)
Alerts - set up an alert (a query that runs periodically and emails you the results)
Custom Search Engines - lets you create specialized search engines that tailor the results
Play Music - search for music and stream it to your device
Arts and Cultural Search - an idiosyncratic collection of some art treasures of the world
Why research skills matter in education (2016) The ability to do fast, accurate research really matters.
When we misread (2016) You might think you're an expert reader. Think again. We all misread...
What causes someone to start searching? (2016) Curiosity might be the motivator,
but once you get beyond simple curiosity, what gets you to actually start the search process?
Diving the Channel Islands (1997) Diving the Channel islands as ecstatic experience
Visiting Falling Water (1998) Seeing Frank Lloyd Wright's house for the first time
Life dot plots (2006) (2006) A simple visualization of your life--one day = 1 dot. It all fits on 1 slide.
A paen to making applesauce (1986) Simple food, simple task, a revelation.
Green lines on the land (2009) How trees persist in the landscape
Book Club Recommendations
I have become the scribe for irregularly scheduled book club meetings.
Here are notes from the last few times I've sat down with good friends in a nice
restaurant and talked about books.
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2022 (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin)
Fiji Dive Trip 2022 (Taveuni, Fiji)
Bonaire Dive Trip 2021 (Kralendijk, Bonaire)
HICSS Book Club 2019 (Maui, HI)
Bonaire Dive Trip Book Club 2018 (Kralendijk, Bonaire)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2018 (Seacliff, CA)
Fiji Book Club Recommendations 2017 (Taveuni, Fiji)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2016 (Seacliff, CA)
HICSS Book Club Recommendations 2016 (Poipu, HI)
Bonaire Dive Trip Book Club Recommendations 2015 (Kralendijk, Bonaire)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2015 (Santa Cruz, CA)
Cozumel Dive Trip Book Club Recommendations 2015 (Cozumel, Mexico)
Fiji Book Club Recommendations 2014 (Taveuni, Fiji)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2014 (Santa Cruz, CA)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2013 (Asilomar, CA)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2012 (Asilomar, CA)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2011 (Asilomar, CA)
Interesting Papers I've written (or helped to write)
Russell, D. M. “The Digital Expansion of the Mind: Implications of Internet Usage for Memory and Cognition” Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, V 8, Issue 1, Pages 33-35. (March 2019) www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211368119300038?dgcid=author1
Russell, D. M., Callegaro, M. “The Skills of Online Search and Research: Why research skills matter more than ever in the age of the search engine” Scientific American (March 26, 2019) blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-to-be-a-better-web-searcher-secrets-from-google-scientists/
Olenewa, R., Gary M. Olson, Judith S. Olson, Daniel M. Russell "Now That We Can Write Simultaneously, How Do We Use That to Our Advantage?" Comm. of the ACM (August 2017, v 60, n 8) DOI:10.1145/2983527
Tunkelang, D., Capra, R., Golovchinsky, G., Kules, B., Russell, D. M., Smith, C., White, R., HCIR 2011: the Fifth International Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval, SIGIR Forum 45(2) (2012)
Russell, D. M. “Ubiquitous search for smart workspaces” Universal Access in the Information Society, vol 10 n. 4, p 11-20 (2011)
Russell, D. M. “The Streitz perspective: Computation is ubiquitous, yet must be designed for human use” Universal Access in the Information Society, vol 10, n. 4, p 4-10 (2011)
Editor, special issue of Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS), vol 10, n 4 (November, 2011)
Druin, A., Gary Knell, Elliot Soloway, Daniel M. Russell, Elizabeth Mynatt, Yvonne Rogers, “The future of child-computer interaction” CHI EA 2011: Proceedings of the 2011 annual conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, NY, pp. 693-696
Moraveji, N., Russell, D. M., Mease, D. “Measuring improvement in user search performance resulting from optimal search tips” Proceedings of SIGIR 2011, Beijing, China (July, 2011)
Dumais, S., Jeffries, R., Russell, D. M., Tang, D., Teevan, J. “Large-scale logs analysis tutorial” SIGCHI full-day workshop, CHI 2011, Vancouver, B.C, Canada. (May, 2011)
Editor for special issue of Universal Access in the Information Society (a Springer journal) I put together this special issue as a Festschrift for Norbert Streitz. To be printed August 2012, while the papers are all available now on Open Online. See the complete table-of-contents for the special issue.
Co-editor Peter Pirolli, special issue on “Sensemaking” Human-Computer Interaction Journal, vol. 26, n. 1 & 2 (April, 2011)
Pirolli, P. Russell, D. M. “Introduction to this special issue on sensemaking” Human-Computer Interaction Journal, v 26, n 1 & 2, p 1 – 8 (April, 2011)
Russell, D. M. “Making the most of online searches” APS Observer, v 24, n 4 (April, 2011) also available as:
Ma, L., Mease, D., Russell, D. M. “A Four Group Cross-Over Design for Measuring Irreversible Treatments on Web Search Tasks” Proceedings of Hawai’i International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS) 2011, Kauai, HI.
Russell, D. M., Oren, M. Retrospective Cued Recall: A method for accurately recalling previous user behaviors, HICSS conference, Hawai’i (January, 2009) PDF
Beymer, D., Russell, D. M., Orton, P.Z. An Eye Tracking Study of How Pictures Influence Online Reading, INTERACT Conference, Rio de Janerio, Brazil (September, 2007) PDF-515Kb
Grimes, C., Tang, D., Russell, D. M. Query logs alone are not enough WWW 2007, Workshop on Query Logs Analysis: Social and Technological Challenges, Banff, Canada (May, 2007) PDF-288Kb
Lam, H., Russell, D. M., Tang, D.,Munzner, T., “Session Viewer: supporting visual exploratory analysis of web session logs” VAST-2007, Sacramento, CA. (October, 2007)
Orton, P. Z., Beymer, D., Russell, D. M., “Computer text line lengths affect reading and learning” Training and Development Journal (2007)
Russell, D. M., Grimes, C. Assigned and self-chosen tasks are not the same in web search Proceedings of the 40th Annual International Conference on Systems & Software, HICSS 2007, Kona, Hawai’i, (Jan, 2007)
Russell, D. M., Card, S., Pirolli, P., Stefik, M. The cost structure of sensemaking, Proc. of CHI 1993 (1993) (PDF h237Kb)
Older, Archival Works
CHI 2009 Workshop on Sensemaking Here's the description of the sensemaking workshop Peter Pirolli and I ran in April, 2009. A list of the accepted papers can be found on the Accepted Papers for CHI 2009 Workshop on Sensemaking page.
CHI 2008 Workshop on Sensemaking Workshop for the CHI conference 2008 on the topic of Sensemaking. Official CHI 2008 Sensemaking Workshop Page You can go there to see the papers we accepted. (We had a 50% acceptance rate!) (April 6, 2008)
Last edit: September 15, 2019