Wild about Wildcards experiment

Ask questions about projects relating to: computer science or pure mathematics (such as probability, statistics, geometry, etc...).

Moderators: MelissaB, kgudger, Ray Trent

Wild about Wildcards experiment

Postby mholop » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:17 am

I am having a difficult time deciding how to actually DO the experiment, what kinds of search terms to use. Can you give me an example. Also, what kind of data am I collecting, the number of webhits that are found. Like if I search for astronauts vs astro*, do i count the number of resulting pages that are found as data? I am unsure about what the word MAXIMIZE search means in the explanation of the project. I have researched how search engines work, also defined what an algorithm is and defined a wildcard. Much of the definition of the term wildcard states that more results will be found, but they are not all useful results..HELP, I just need some clarification on this. Thanks.
mholop
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:14 am

Re: Wild about Wildcards experiment

Postby OneBriiguy » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:03 am

mholop@aol.com wrote:I am having a difficult time deciding how to actually DO the experiment, what kinds of search terms to use. Can you give me an example. Also, what kind of data am I collecting, the number of webhits that are found. Like if I search for astronauts vs astro*, do i count the number of resulting pages that are found as data? I am unsure about what the word MAXIMIZE search means in the explanation of the project. I have researched how search engines work, also defined what an algorithm is and defined a wildcard. Much of the definition of the term wildcard states that more results will be found, but they are not all useful results..HELP, I just need some clarification on this. Thanks.


Hi, mholop@aol.com!

Can you provide more detail or contrext for the questions? What is the experiment description that you would like help clarifying?
Brian Castelli (OneBriiguy)
Engineering Specialist
OneBriiguy
Former Expert
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:31 am
Occupation: Engineer
Project Question: N/A
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: Not applicable

Re: Wild about Wildcards experiment

Postby Louise » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:38 am

OneBriiguy wrote:
mholop@aol.com wrote:I am having a difficult time deciding how to actually DO the experiment, what kinds of search terms to use. Can you give me an example. Also, what kind of data am I collecting, the number of webhits that are found. Like if I search for astronauts vs astro*, do i count the number of resulting pages that are found as data? I am unsure about what the word MAXIMIZE search means in the explanation of the project. I have researched how search engines work, also defined what an algorithm is and defined a wildcard. Much of the definition of the term wildcard states that more results will be found, but they are not all useful results..HELP, I just need some clarification on this. Thanks.


Hi, mholop@aol.com!

Can you provide more detail or contrext for the questions? What is the experiment description that you would like help clarifying?


I'm pretty sure he is talking about the science buddies project found here:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring ... p016.shtml

Louise
Louise
Former Expert
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:17 pm

Re: Wild about Wildcards experiment

Postby OneBriiguy » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:34 pm

Louise wrote:I'm pretty sure he is talking about the science buddies project found here:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring ... p016.shtml

Louise


Thanks, Louise!

Given this new conext, let's take the questions one at a time:

Q: I am having a difficult time deciding how to actually DO the experiment, what kinds of search terms to use. Can you give me an example.

A: There are examples provided in the introduction section of the web page.

Q: Also, what kind of data am I collecting, the number of webhits that are found. Like if I search for astronauts vs astro*, do i count the number of resulting pages that are found as data?

A: Here you have actually satisfied your own request for examples, above. You gave the examples of "astronaut vs. astro". Cool. The Experimental Procedure, item 2, answers this question for you. Using Yahooligans as an example, they suggest that you count category hits and web site hits. If you choose to use a different search site or compare the results of two or more search sites you might choose to count something else. Overall, your goal is to count or measure something that tells you how effective your search terms are.

Q: I am unsure about what the word MAXIMIZE search means in the explanation of the project.

A: The sentence from the web page reads, "In this experiment you will test the use of wildcards to maximize the number of results from a search." The experiement attempts to show how the use of wild cards can increase (or decrease) the number of hits. Maximize simply means get the highest number.

Q: I have researched how search engines work, also defined what an algorithm is and defined a wildcard. Much of the definition of the term wildcard states that more results will be found, but they are not all useful results.

A: Perhaps this isn't a question. If it is, I don't understand it. Please reword.

Best wishes for the success of your project!
Brian Castelli (OneBriiguy)
Engineering Specialist
OneBriiguy
Former Expert
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:31 am
Occupation: Engineer
Project Question: N/A
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: Not applicable

Wild Cards part 2

Postby mholop » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:17 pm

Ok, I now see more explanation on the website. I am just unsure about the hypothesis because the definition that I find for wildcards states that you get more hits this way, so the fact that you use wildcards IS already saying you will get more hits, so it is wierd to me that this is an experiment..am I just proving that using wildcards indeed provide more hits to websites? And, in using wildcards I will get a lot of useless information or rather, information i did not indend to get. I am having trouble with my hypothesis I guess and what I am trying to prove because in my research report i say you get more hits, should I not say this? Should my hypothesis state that I get more USEFUL hits? And if so, how do I define useful? This project looked simple, but now I think it is more complicated OR TOO simple to actually have a proper hypothesis and experiment if, in fact the purpose of using wildcards means you get more hits....I am not sure if I am explaining this or over thinking it. I need help. I want to get a good grade and now I am thinking about telling my teacher I need to pick something else and this will put me way behind schedule. Help.
mholop
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:14 am

Re: Wild Cards part 2

Postby Louise » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:37 pm

mholop@aol.com wrote:Ok, I now see more explanation on the website. I am just unsure about the hypothesis because the definition that I find for wildcards states that you get more hits this way, so the fact that you use wildcards IS already saying you will get more hits, so it is wierd to me that this is an experiment..am I just proving that using wildcards indeed provide more hits to websites? And, in using wildcards I will get a lot of useless information or rather, information i did not indend to get. I am having trouble with my hypothesis I guess and what I am trying to prove because in my research report i say you get more hits, should I not say this? Should my hypothesis state that I get more USEFUL hits? And if so, how do I define useful? This project looked simple, but now I think it is more complicated OR TOO simple to actually have a proper hypothesis and experiment if, in fact the purpose of using wildcards means you get more hits....I am not sure if I am explaining this or over thinking it. I need help. I want to get a good grade and now I am thinking about telling my teacher I need to pick something else and this will put me way behind schedule. Help.


The difficulty is a "2", so I think it is intended to be very simple/ for younger students.

I think you could do something more sophiscated along the lines you mention- wildcards give you more hits, but potentially more useless data. Can you predict the "optimal" balance of wildcards to give the most useful hits? If you know about the search algorthm, can you see some methods are better than other? Designing the appropriate test will be the hard part, since obviously the testing itself is really fast.

Louise
Louise
Former Expert
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:17 pm

Wild about Wild Cards 2

Postby mholop » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:57 pm

This is for a 4th grade student. I am his older sister and trying to help him. do not want to make it more complicated. just trying to figure out how the hypothesis should be stated..
mholop
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:14 am

Re: Wild about Wild Cards 2

Postby Louise » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:54 pm

mholop@aol.com wrote:This is for a 4th grade student. I am his older sister and trying to help him. do not want to make it more complicated. just trying to figure out how the hypothesis should be stated..


I see. Your message above sounded pretty sophiscated and you were talking about how you were going to talk to your teacher...

I think your hypothesis is fine "Wildcards will produce more hits", but it isn't always the case. You could test something like what rules for placing the wild card. For example, searching for "searching", "s*arching" and "sea*ching" do you see a pattern? In these cases, the wild card decreases the number of hits Something like, "replacing a vowel with a wildcard will produce more hits than replacing a consonant" could also be a hypothesis. There are may choices. Just remember that not all searching engines support wildcards _and_ that you will need to do a fairly long word list to make this a substantial enough project for a 4th grader. Googling 10 words probably won't get a good grade!

Louise
Louise
Former Expert
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:17 pm

Postby mholop » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:11 pm

thanks, Louise. Well, if anyone else has any good advise I would take it all under consideration. i do not know why he picked this topic as a science project, it could be because both of my parents are computer nerds...he likes whatever they like, actually I am computer nerd too, proud of it. Well, hope there are some other answers out there
mholop
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:14 am

Postby cordelia » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:40 am

Great project for a 4th grade pupil! I'll come up with a project of mine soon..
How did it go?
"The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." ~ Erica Jong
cordelia
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:06 am


Return to Grades K-5: Math and Computer Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests