Past Meetup

User Engagement at Spotify and Search as Learning

This Meetup is past

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This Friday we'll have two talks followed by drinks.

Our industrial speaker is Dr. Mounia Lalmas Research Director at Spotify, her talk will focus on user engagement.

The academic speaker is Claudia Hauff: Assistant Professor at Technical University Delft, she will talk about search as learning.


16:00 - 16:30 Claudia Hauff

16:30 - 17:00 Mounia Lalmas

17:00 - 18:00 Drinks & Snacks

Details of the talks:


Mounia Lalmas - Research at Spotify

Spotify provides users with access to a massive repository of streaming music. While some aspects of music access are familiar to the information retrieval community (e.g. semistructured data, item recommendation), nuances of the music domain require the development of new models of user understanding, intent modeling, relevance, and content understanding. These models can be studied using the large amount of content and usage data at Spotify. In this presentation, we will highlight the research involved in developing Spotify and outline a research program for large scale music access. A focus of the presentation will be around user engagement.

Dr. Mounia Lalmas has just joined Spotify, as Research Director, where she will build and lead a team of researchers working on engagement metrics. Before that, she was a Director of Research at Yahoo, where she led a team of researchers working on advertising quality for Gemini, Yahoo native advertising platform. She also worked with various teams at Yahoo on topics related to user engagement in the context of news, search, and user generated content. She also hold an Honorary Professorship at University College London.


Claudia Hauff - Research Challenges in Search as Learning

Today's Web search engines are engineered and optimized to fulfill individual users' lookup tasks. This efficiency, however, also means that we largely view search systems as tools to satisfy immediate information needs, instead of rich environments in which humans heavily interact with information content, and search engines act as intelligent dialogue systems. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of studying and designing search systems to foster discovery and enhance the learning experience during the search process outside of formal educational settings ("search as learning"). In this talk, I will outline the current research paradigms in search as learning as well as the numerous research challenges that need to be tackled.

Claudia Hauff is an Assistant Professor in TU Delft's Web Information Systems group and a computer scientist by training. In 2010, she received her PhD in information retrieval from the University of Twente. In the past, she has worked on a variety of topics in the fields of information retrieval & data science, including query performance prediction, social search, computational social science, learning to search and information retrieval for specific user groups. Recently, she has been focusing on large-scale learning analytics and how to incorporate search into the learning process at scale making use of TU Delft's unique research opportunities for learning analytics as one of the largest providers of MOOCs in Europe.For more information, please visit