SIS Professor Dania Bilal has been awarded a Google Faculty Research Award for her proposal, “Child-friendly SERPs: Towards better understanding of Google search results readability by Children.” Bilal will be studying how middle school children read and evaluate the reading levels of search results pages (SERPs) retrieved by Google to modify the Reading Level metric Google employs for assigning reading levels to search results. She will be using eye tracking, retrospective think-aloud, and interview techniques. The co-PI on the proposal is Dr. Jacek Gwidzka, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Austin.
Google is supporting the proposal with an award in the amount of $41,363. In making the award, the Google Review Team indicated that the “Google Research Awards Program receives many strong proposals every round and conducts a very thorough review of all the submissions received, involving several teams of Google engineers and researchers…Google Research Awards are structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class full-time faculty members at top universities around the world.” Recent recipients of this Award in the Human-Computer Interaction area (the focus area of Dania’s proposal) are researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT, among others. This is the second Google Research Award Google received by a University of Tennessee faculty member.