About me

Hi Dear Visitor! I am an Applied Scientist at Amazon Alexa Shopping. I obtained my Ph.D. from the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst. During my Ph.D., I worked as a research assistant at the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR) under the supervision of Professor James Allan. I have worked on several NSF and IARPA-funded projects in my Ph.D. I have interned at Amazon Query Understanding (Manager: Dr. Danqing Zhang ), Amazon Alexa Shopping Science (Manager: Dr. Vanessa Murdock ), and Checkstep (Manager: Professor Isabelle Augenstein and Professor Preslav Nakov ). I have been a PC member for various conferences since 2019. The list includes ECIR, SIGIR, CIKM, ACL Rolling Review, ACL, EMNLP, AAAI, IEEE TKDE, and IRJ.

I am primarily interested in information retrieval and natural language processing problems with limited labeled data. A focus on limited labeled data opened up opportunities for me to conduct research in domain adaptation, cross-lingual transfer learning, data augmentation, retrieval-enhanced learning, and diversification approaches for data sampling for active learning. At this stage in my career, I see fine-tuning language models as one of the most significant problems to adapt to evolving data, and I aim to develop retrieval-based solutions to reduce the fine-tuning frequency for deployed models. 

Updates:

– [December 2021] Our paper on cross-language abuse detection got accepted to the Transaction of the Association of Computational Linguistics (TACL) journal. We will present this paper at ACL'22.

– [June 2021] Our paper on a data augmentation approach for hate speech detection got accepted for presentation at ICWSM'22.

– [June 2021] Started internship at Amazon A9 Query Understanding team. The resource support is amazing!!

– [June 2021] Our paper on learning from explanation got the best paper award at TrustNLP@NAACL workshop.

– [June 2021] Got the FLORES computing grant from Facebook AI for training neural machine translation models for low-resource languages. Thanks to Nishanth Gupta for seeing this through to the end. We will work on Bengali language!

– [June 2021] “Utility of missing information in Query-biased Summarization” accepted at SIGIR ‘21. We introduced a very timely concept for search results summarization.

– [June 2021] Had a very good collaboration with Dr. Andy Halterman and Katherine A. Keith that resulted in a publication at ACL ‘21 (Findings). We jointly worked to create a dataset for social scientists who are interested in drawing statistical information about events from text data.

– [March 2021] Started an interesting collaboration with Checkstep on explainable abusive content detection.

– [February 2021] Successfully finished my internship at Checkstep. We wrote a paper on Cross-lingual abusive content detection.

– [October 2020] Started internship at Checkstep. to work on abusive content detection under the supervision of Professor Isabelle Augenstein and Dr. Preslav Nakov.

– [July 2020] Presented our paper on Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval at SIGIR ‘20.

– [June 2020] A theoretical IR research paper accepted at ICTIR ‘20. It was my approximation algorithm class project and I continued to improve it over a year to finally get it accepted. The paper jointly optimizes relevance and diversification using a linear programming formulation.

– [April 2020] “Toward Neural Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval” has been accepted for publication in SIGIR '20.

– [April 2020] “Query by Example for Cross-Lingual Event Retrieval” has been accepted for publication in SIGIR '20.

– [October 2019] Attended ICTIR 2019 from October 1 - October 7, 2019 to present two papers showing how information extraction can be formulated as an information retrieval problem.

– [A[September 2019] Successfully finished my internship on hate speech detection at Amazon Alexa Shopping Science team under the supervision of Dr. Vanessa Murdock. We submitted a long paper based on our work.

– [July 2019] Successfully presented my poster in ACL '19, Florence, Italy. Really enjoyed the social program. The conference hosted fireworks!!!

– [June 2019] Started working as an Applied Scientist Intern at Amazon Alexa Shopping Science Team under the supervision of Dr. Vanessa Murdock.

– [June 2019] Two papers accepted to ICTIR ‘19. Both the papers focus on information retrieval approaches for information extraction.

– [March 2019] I am a Phd Candidate now!

– [September 2018] Started working on IARPA MATERIAL project focusing on cross-lingual information retrieval.

– [October 2018] Presented two papers at the EYRE ‘18 workshop at CIKM.

– [March 2018] Attended CHIIR ‘18 and presented our paper on contextual named entity retrieval.

– [December 2017] “Term Relevance Feedback for Contextual Named Entity Retrieval” has been accepted to the CHIIR ‘18.

– [January 2017] Started working on NSF funded project SearchIE. Officially became a member of CIIR. I will work under the supervision of Professor James Allan as an MS/PhD student.

– [June 2021] Started internship at Amazon A9 Query Understanding team. The resource support is amazing!!

– [June 2021] Started internship at Amazon A9 Query Understanding team. The resource support is amazing!!

Current status

Applied Scientist II, Amazon Alexa Shopping Research, Seattle, WA.

Email:

smsarwar,umass at gmail.com

Addresss:

Amazon Cricket, 440 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109