News - December 2013:


I am currently a Research Associate at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) working with Dr. Stephan Vogel on Machine Translation. I am in the Arabic Language Technologies Group and primarily focus on translating to and from Arabic. In particular, I am interested in how phrase extraction is impacted in morphologically rich languages.

Prior to QCRI, I received a Master's in Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science’s Language Technologies Institute. I was advised by Professor Daniel Neill and worked in the Event and Pattern Detection Lab on incorporating unstructured text into event detection. I was also very active in the Machine Translation Group contributing to the 2013 WMT task and leading paper discussions in the reading group with a particular focus on Quality Estimation.

My Research Interests broadly include Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, AI, and their applications to real world problems. In particular, I am interested in Probabilistic Graphical Models with Hidden Parameters, Statistical Inference, Un- and Semi-Supervised Learning Algorithms, and Bayesian Models. I like applying these algorithms to difficult real world problems such as human languages or early detection of novel disease outbreaks. I am fascinated by nontraditional and unconventional natural language datasets as they pose interesting challenges for computer scientists in terms of robustness, generality, and OOVs.

Prior to CMU, I graduated from Princeton University’s School of Engineering where I majored in Computer Science. My Senior Thesis at Princeton was “Summarization by Latent Dirichlet Allocation” which used a randomly selected corpus of 1,000 articles from Wikipedia and then generated 10 sentence summaries of each article. Advised by David Blei, our results were statistically significant — demonstrating better summaries than two other leading methods from the field. A copy of the thesis can be obtained under the Research Interests Section.

Outside of research, I have spent some time in industry. While at CMU, I worked part-time at Alon Lavie's startup, Safaba Translation Solutions, building tailored translation engines for corporate clients to internationalize their communications. I also worked as an Engineer at Microsoft on Dynamics CRM Online working on the back end of a large scale cloud service. My projects included the backup system, deployment, and internationalization of the product to 40 languages in 41 countries. I also spent some time working on start ups including the innovative Lighter Capital who are dying to give away some money to small businesses.