New releases in the people directory

Telephone numbers, office addresses and other information on ETH members can be found in the ETH People Search application.

You have probably already noticed that the search results appear more extensive than before. The system now also searches for “phonetic consonance”. This is intended to find persons even if the exact spelling of the name is not known. So “Hofmann” will also be found with “Hoffmann”. The search term “Kenzler” would produce results ranging from “Kienzler” to “Künzli” and “Wenzler”.

Technical extension for quick search and search index (also with author names)

The current implementation is a minimally invasive approach in which the signature of the existing APIs (programming interface) has not been changed: The implementation uses market best practices, in this case a person-name-optimised fuzzy search from the OIS Oracle DB (full text indexes and functional tables) to find matches that are spelled similarly or where it makes sense to reorder the terms of the given sentence. In this way, more results can be found for misspellings or homophones of names (or inaccurate order), and it also supports accessibility in the case of dyslexia.

A possible way forward

The functions that have been realised only use a fraction of the available spectrum. Some “low hanging fruits” could be improving the sorting of results with a “matching score”, or expanding the people search to include relevant related information that is linked in the OIS, which could be activated in the full text index. Illustrative examples of this would be to search for a person by the organisational hierarchy in which he or she works (e.g. by entering “ITS” you would get all employees in the “IT Services” department), or professors based on course ontology (i.e. by entering “quantum computing” you could get all professors teaching courses with related terms).

Thanks to the bug corrections, the map with the site plan of the building is now also provided again. What’s more, there were corrections in relation to the search for general telecom connections.

Display at login

The “People Search” application is available to everyone without requiring a login. Only logged-in users can search for students, however. The extended information includes:

  • Displaying of photos that have only been released for ETH members
  • Download the list of people
  • Link for editing your own data

Address sheet with sender

If you are logged in, the sender is now entered when you print the address sheet. The adjustments to the address sheet were implemented in 2019. This also includes the correction for placement on the printouts.


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