The search component of the college’s online directory was never particularly brilliant. While it would match exact terms with ease, anything that required a more nuanced approach — e.g. searching for part of a word — would often yield counterintuitive results. For example, these kinds of searches could confuse the directory:

  • If a user had a middle name included in the directory (e.g. Jane Elizabeth Doe) doing a  search for Jane Elizabeth Doe returned no results … but searching for Jane Doe would return Jane Elizabeth Doe as a result.
  • Searching for someone who’s middle initials were part of his first name (e.g. Jack J.D. Smith) would return no results.

This spring we overhauled that search to allow for far better and more efficient search results. As a result, both of the use cases below will now return the expected results (e.g. you can search for middle names and middle initials and expect it to return those people, assuming those characters are in their name).

In addition, “Academic Program” search on the Academics webpage now yields much better results, particularly on partial matches (e.g. comp sci will yield “computer science” as a result.

Let us know if you have suggestions on how to further improve directory search, or additional features you’d like to see.