by CIO Staff

Yahoo Hires Database Heavy for Social Search

Jul 25, 20062 mins

Yahoo on Monday said it hired database expert Raghu Ramakrishnan, 45, to lead its research team that’s examining the connections between computer and human search, Reuters reports.

Ramakrishnan will take on the title of vice president and Yahoo research fellow, and he’ll be charged with defining the future direction of Yahoo’s “social search” system, according to Reuters. 

Social search is a widespread effort to boost the efficiency of computer search systems by updating and enhancing them based on lessons gleaned from searches performed by people, Reuters reports. Yahoo is banking on the concept of social search to set it apart from rival Google, the world’s leading search engine, which has directed more of its efforts to developing computerized search functions, according to Reuters.

“At Yahoo you have this unique opportunity to integrate conventional search with Flickr,, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Mail,” Ramakrishnan told Reuters, referencing a number of Google’s services that are based on user-generated content, or user interaction.

Ramakrishnan has almost two decades of work under his belt as a computer science professor with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and he cofounded the school’s Data Mining Institute, according to Reuters. The search guru also co-authored the popular text Database Management Systems, and has had upward of 150 research papers published to date, Reuters reports. 

Ramakrishnan will work at Yahoo’s research center near its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters, and he’ll report to Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Research, according to Reuters.

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