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Search Fundamentals

We’ve designed this 2-week course to introduce the fundamentals of search to engineers, data scientists, and other technical professionals who are new to the area or interested in working in it. We will cover the basics of indexing, querying, hand-tuned ranking, aggregations, and search user interfaces. To gain practical experience, you will build an application using OpenSearch (an open fork of Elasticsearch) and a public ecommerce dataset. This course will also prepare you for the Search with Machine Learning course that assumes familiarity with search fundamentals as a prerequisite.

Instructor profile photo
Grant Ingersoll
Former CTO at Wikimedia
Real-world projects that teach you industry skills.
Learn alongside a small group of your professional peers
Part-time program with 2 live events per week:
Monday @ 4:00 PM UTC
Project Session
Wednesday @ 5:00 PM UTC
Next Cohort
June 19, 2023
2 weeks
US$ 400
or included with membership

Course taught by expert instructors

Instructor Photo
Affiliation logo

Grant Ingersoll

Former CTO at Wikimedia

Grant is a CTO, independent consultant and advisor. He is the former CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation and the co-founder and ex-CTO of Lucidworks, co-author of Taming Text, co-founder of Apache Mahout and a long-standing committer on the Apache Lucene and Solr open source projects. Grant’s experience includes managing a large team of engineers, researchers and data scientists at a top ten website as well as engineering a variety of search, question answering, and natural language processing applications for a variety of domains and languages. He earned his B.S. from Amherst College in Math and Computer Science and his M.S. in Computer Science from Syracuse University.

The course

Learn and apply skills with real-world projects.

Who is it for?
  • Software engineers and data scientists, and other technical professionals who are new to the area or interested in working in it.

  • This class is not intended for experienced search professionals, since it will cover the basics. It is an introductory course, and also serves to prepare students for more advanced material, such as the course on Search with Machine Learning.

Prerequisites / Commitment
  • Ability to write Python and work with documented libraries.

  • Comfort working with web applications, Docker basics (e.g. start, stop) and the command line.

Not ready?

Try these prep courses first

  • Fundamentals of search architecture and main search application components such as indexing, query parsing, and querying
  • How search engines ingest, transform, and represent content in the search index
  • Querying your index for effective and efficient retrieval
  • Basic search operations: managing your search system
  • How to use key OpenSearch / Elasticsearch APIs
An ecommerce application using publicly available data that will serve as a baseline for work for the remainder of the course. You will work through the indexing process, as well as implement basic query processing.
  • How to model and measure search relevance
  • Relevance, ranking, diversity – how they all fit together
  • How to implement, evaluate, and improve a hand-tune ranking function
  • Using facets and aggregations to summarize and refine search results
  • Autocomplete, spell correction, snippets, and other search features
You will improve the retrieval, relevance, and ranking of the ecommerce application by adding key search features from the first week.

Real-world projects

Work on projects that bring your learning to life.
Made to be directly applicable in your work.

Live access to experts

Sessions and Q&As with our expert instructors, along with real-world projects.

Network & community

Core reviews a study groups. Share experiences and learn alongside a global network of professionals.

Support & accountability

We have a system in place to make sure you complete the course, and to help nudge you along the way.

Get reimbursed by your company

More than half of learners get their Courses and Memberships reimbursed by their company.

Hundreds of companies have dedicated L&D and education budgets that have covered the costs.


Course success stories

Learn together and share experiences with other industry professionals

I loved this course! The content was very detailed yet accessible and relevant, and I especially appreciated the instructors'/TA's willingness to stay on after class / schedule brief times outside to answer my questions and help me through the homework. Fantastic experience!

Stephanie YuProduct Manager I @ Disney Streaming

Grant has a unique combination of breadth and depth in the search space, from designing a search solution for performance and stability at scale, while also having deep expertise in the internals of the engine, such as text analysis, relevancy tuning, query optimization, and index design. You won’t find a better teacher to provide a solid foundation in the theory as well as how to apply it when building real world search applications.

Tim PotterSearch Engineer @ Apple

I can think of no better person to teach a class on 'search with machine learning' than Grant Ingersoll. Through his open source work on the Apache Solr search engine and as a founder of the Apache Mahout machine learning framework, Grant has done more to teach developers about the technology concepts and applications of ML and search than anyone in the business. If you type “machine learning “and “search” into Google, the top result is Lucidworks, a company that Grant was the driving force for. This is a no-brainer, take this class from Grant!

Adam Cheyerco-founder of Siri

I will recommend it to professionals who are interested in working in search. Its a very good balance between getting to know the topic and having a first experience, by being very hands-on.

Matias WeberData Scientist @ Inventa

Grant is an established expert in the area of Search, Machine Learning, and AI! He has the mind of a researcher, an educator and has demonstrated the applicability of these deep topic areas into real-world products used by enterprises. What better way to learn than from someone who is a published author, a hands-on practitioner, and an industry expert?

Sameer MaggonProgram Manager, Salesforce

Daniel is a well-known expert on what useful search looks like in practice. Between his founding role as Endeca's chief scientist, his experience at Google and LinkedIn, and his consulting for numerous tech companies and retailers, he has seen and done it all. If you want to learn about relevance, user happiness, and optimizing search applications so they actually help people find things, you cannot do better than a course from Daniel.

Greg LindenAmazon / Google / Microsoft veteran

Daniel has unparalleled experience in search and machine learning. He brings practical experiences and has consulted for a wide range of companies from Apple to Zoom.

Ronny KohaviAirbnb / Amazon / Microsoft leader in experimentation

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