Current Style: Standard
The Strix Award is presented in memory of Dr Tony Kent, a past Fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists, who died in 1997. Tony Kent made a major contribution to the development of information science and information services both in the UK and internationally, particularly in the field of chemistry. The name 'Strix' was chosen to reflect Tony's interest in ornithology, and as the name of the last and most successful information retrieval packages that he created.
The Award is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of information retrieval that meets one of the following criteria:
- a major and/or sustained contribution to the theoretical or experimental understanding of the information retrieval process;
- development of, or significant improvement in, mechanisms, a product or service for the retrieval of information, either generally or in a specialised field;
- development of, or significant improvement in, ease of access to an information service;
- development and/or exploitation of new technologies to enhance information retrieval;
- a sustained contribution over a period of years to the field of information retrieval; for example, by running an information service or by contributing at national or international level to organisations active in the field.
Nominations are assessed by a panel of judges that includes a number of the past winners. Key characteristics for which they will look are innovation, initiative, originality and practicality. The Award is open to individuals or groups from anywhere in the world.
The winners of the 2012 UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award are Doug Cutting and Dave Hawking
In 2012 for the first time in the Award’s history, the judging panel was unable to identify a clear winner, and is delighted to announce that the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award 2012 is made jointly to Doug Cutting and Professor David Hawking.
Doug Cutting has been working in the field of information retrieval for over fifteen years, beginning with five years at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) developing novel approaches to information access. Since then he has gone on to work for Apple's Advanced Technology Group and Excite. In the fall of 1997 he reduced his commitment at Excite to part-time so that he could write Lucene, an efficient, full-featured text search engine written in Java, which was made open-source in the spring of 2000 and was adopted by the Apache Foundation in 2005. Cutting had joined Yahoo in 2006 and extended Lucene into the realm of extremely large (web-scale) search problems. He created an open-source framework allowing applications to be run on large clusters of commodity hardware. This was accomplished by taking the distributed computing code out of Nutch into a new Apache project christened Hadoop. In July 2009, Doug Cutting was elected to the board of directors of the Apache Software Foundation, and in September 2010, he was elected its chairman; in 2011 he joined Cloudera to continue to develop the Hadoop software. The impact of Cutting’s work, both in developing Lucene and Hadoop, and his work at Apple, Excite and Yahoo on search development, is unparalleled in the history of search software development, and the judges had no doubt that he is a worthy recipient of the Award.
Dave Hawking has successfully mixed involvement in the commercial world of search engines with academic activities. For seven years he co-ordinated the VLC (very large collection) and Web tracks at TREC, during which time the TREC idea of laboratory experiments was successfully scaled up to near web scale. As a researcher, he has focused on enterprise and web search, on evaluation of search engines in realistic contexts, on the use of a variety of sources of information by search engines (for example anchor text or context), and on search efficiency. Over his career he has helped to develop a real sense of the ways in which different contexts offer both difficulties and opportunities to the designers of search engines. His enterprise search engine company Funnelback has developed an enviable client list. One of the evaluation methods that Dave has pioneered is a relatively low-cost method based on identifying a suitable existing list within the enterprise of good sources on its intranet, and generating queries and best answers automatically from the list. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel and was awarded the Chris Wallace prize for Computer Science at Australian Computer Science Week 2005. As with his co-winner, the judges had no hesitation in making the Award.
The presentation of the ‘Owl’ Trophy and certificates took place during the opening keynote session on Day 2 of Internet Librarian International 2012. Martin White (UKeiG Chair) and Doug Veal (Chair of the Strix Award Panel and representing RCS-CICAG, sponsors of the award) will preside over the presentation. They will be joined by a representative of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award’s second sponsor, ASLIB: The Association for Information Management.
Photo: Graham Coult (Aslib); Stephen Robertson receiving the certificate on behalf of David Hawking; Martin White receiving the cerificate on behalf of Doug Cutting; and Doug Veal, Chair of Strix Panel, also representing RCS-CICAG (image courtesy of Information Today & photovibe).
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2012 Doug Cutting
2011 Alan Smeaton
2010 Michael Lynch
2009 Carol Ann Peters
2008 Kalervo Jarvelin
2007 Mats Lindquist
2006 Stella Dextre Clarke
2005 Jack Mills
2004 Professor Cornelis Joost (Keith) van Rijsbergen
2003 Dr Herbert van Sompel
2002 Malcolm Jones
2001 Prof Peter Willett
2000 Dr Martin Porter
1999 Dr Donna Harman
1998 Prof Stephen Robertson
PatronsASLIB: The Association for Information Management Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Information & Computer Applications Group Sage Publishing ISKO (UK) Eugene Garfield
Contributors to the Launch FundFrances H. Barker Derek Barlow John Blackmore Peter Clague Michael Dadd Alan Gilchrist Angela R. Haygarth Jackson John Myers Charles Oppenheim Howard Petrie Alan Robson David Russon Alison Simkins Department of Information Studies, Sheffield University Gerald P. Sweeney Margaret and Doug Veal Peter Vickers Jan Wyllie
US ContributorsDale B. Baker Mel Day W. Val Metanomski Ralph O'Dette Daniel U. Wilde