Cork student develops software that adds to what search engines do

Caelen’s code modifies what the engine is doing to deliver an enhanced service

15-year-old Caelen Feller developed software that looks to improve search engines

15-year-old Caelen Feller developed software that looks to improve search engines

Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 01:00

We all use search engines when surfing the internet, but few of us know what these engines do. Caelen Feller knows, and also knows how to improve them.

The 15-year-old transition-year student from Coláiste Choilm, Cork, developed software that adds to what search engines do, and he presented his research at RDS.

It took him a month and a half to produce the software code to achieve it but his code convinced 158 people that they had an improved experience with better searches.

“I investigated ways to improve web searches with a focus on news,” Caelen said.

He wanted to be able to tailor the browsing experience for the user with changes that would give more power to the user.

The primary search engine remains functioning behind, but Caelen’s code modifies what the engine is doing to deliver an enhanced service.

Rory Flynn, a 17-year-old fifth year from Newbridge College, Kildare, also wanted to improve a service for users.

“Data compression is used every day on websites to speed up movement of pages,” he says.

It is based on using mathematical algorithms to crunch down the data to speed up transmission and then uncrunching it when it arrives on screen.

Most of the algorithms used today were written in the 1980s and 1990s however, and Rory wanted to develop a new one.

While he achieved his aim, he found his compression algorithm did not perform as well as competitor systems.

It achieved less compression and was slower, but it is “lossless” and can reconstitute data without loss of quality or clarity, he says.

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