PSearch: NACS and ICS Collaborate

PSearch

Faculty and staff now have a powerful new tool for finding contacts through UCI’s online phone directory.  PSearch melds the directory data NACS maintains with state-of-the-art database research from the lab of ICS Professor Chen Li.

PSearch allows users to enter whatever information they may happen to have (first name, last name, department, phone number, etc.) and PSearch will offer any entries in the campus phone directory which match.  PSearch is error tolerant (you can find people with only an approximation of the spelling of a name) and real time (results are displayed and refined as you enter information.)

PSearch represents a collaboration between NACS and ICS.  Professor Li’s team offered the intelligent database search technology, and NACS offered the data and our user-interface experience.  Key contributors on Professor Li’s team include PhD student Rares Vernica at UCI and Guoliang Li, a visiting researcher from Tsinghua University, China.

PSearch is only one potential use of Dr. Li’s “type-ahead search” technology featured on his TASTIER project web page.  Future uses may involve other campus-wide or even UC-wide data sets.  This new technology makes it possible to simultaneously support full-text (google), quick-link, and directory searches in a single query as exhibited by the search box on the ICS home page.

Printed Directory

NACS offers faculty and staff the option of receiving a printed campus directory. To manage costs and conserve resources, NACS wants to ensure that copies of the printed directory are sent only to those who require them.  To receive a printed directory, you must request one at the directory update web page.  NACS thanks those who elect to “go green” and use electronic alternatives.

After logging in, check “Yes” under the question: “Do you want one (1) copy of the printed UCI Campus & Medical Center Directory?”. You may also use this link to update your other directory information.  Please note NACS distributes only to faculty and staff on the main campus.  Medical Center personnel have their own distribution mechanism.

NACS also offers an online directory tool which can be found on the campus home page through the “People” search feature, or at http://directory.uci.edu/

The on-line directory has been recently enhanced to offer a wider and more flexible range of search criteria, including the ability to limit searches to faculty and staff, students, or department names.  The “Advanced Search” makes it easier to search based on first name, last name, UCInetID, department, or phone number.  You can also combine those criteria for more specificity.

LOOKING UP E-MAIL ADDRESSES

One of the most frequent requests made of UCI’s e-mail postmaster is to lookup an e-mail address. UCI’s electronic phone book can be accessed from Eudora and also from the Web via “Ph-WWW”: http://www.uci.edu/cgi-bin/phwww

This tool allows you to search for a person by name, phone number, department, or a combination of these and other fields. More information on the capabilities of this search can be found by clicking on “More Information about PHWWW” on the Web page.

So next time you need an e-mail address, “let your fingers do the walking.”