Information Seeking, Interactive Information Retrieval (IIR), Information Fostering

To better understand people’s information seeking processes and to provide personalization and recommendations to them as methods for helping the information seekers, I have been involved in several research activities that investigate elements of interactive information retrieval (IIR), specifically focusing on detecting topic, task, and intentions.

  • Amazon Research Award for project "Addressing Cold Start Problem in Personalization and Recommendation Using Proactive Information Retrieval" (February 2019-January 2020; $100,000) [News Story]
  • NSF award for project titled "Information Fostering - Being Proactive in Information Seeking" (Sept. 1, 2017-August 31, 2020; $499,656) [Project Website]
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplemental award from the NSF (June 2018-August 2020; $16,000)
  • NSF award for project titled "Characterizing and Evaluating Whole Session Interactive Information Retrieval" with Dr. Nick Belkin (Sept. 2014-Aug. 2017; $499,425) [News Story]
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplemental award from the NSF (May 15, 2016-August 31, 2017; $8,000)
  • Google Research Award with Dr. Nick Belkin for project "Automatic Identification of Information Searcher Intentions During an Information Seeking Session" (Sept. 2013-Aug. 2014; $53,032) [News Story]
  • Journal Articles: 12
  • Papers in Conference Proceedings: 28
  • Posters: 6; Demos: 3
  • USA: 14
  • International: 5
Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)

Collaborative information seeking (CIS) involves a coordinated effort to better understand and solve a shared problem of interest, such as siblings searching together for information about an elderly parent’s medical condition. My research on CIS has been primarily concerned with investigating how and why people work in collaboration in information-intensive tasks, and what support can be provided to facilitate and encourage such collaborative behavior.

  • Early Faculty Career Development Grant from IMLS for project "CIS3: Collaborative Information Seeking Support and Services in Libraries" (Sept. 2012-Aug. 2016; $272,996). [News Story]
  • Yahoo! Campus Innovation Award for project "Reimagining and Reinvigorating Information Seeking with a Novel Approach to Collaborative Information Seeking" ($20,000). [News Story]
  • Books: 2; Book Chapters: 4
  • Journal Articles: 21
  • Papers in Conference Proceedings: 10
  • Posters: 5; Demos: 4
  • USA: 16
  • International: 6
Social Information Seeking (SIS)

Social information seeking (SIS) refers to queries or questions that people pose to their peers or a community to obtain their thoughts, opinions, and validations, e.g., asking for travel advice on online community-based question-answering services such as Yahoo Answers or Quora. My research on SIS has relied primarily on studying community-based question-answering (Q&A) services such as Yahoo! Answers, and social media services such as Twitter.

  • IMLS National Leadership Grant with Dr. Rich Gazan of University of Hawaii for project "Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd" (Sept. 2016-Aug. 2019; $490,973) [News story]
  • "Content and user evaluations in community-based Q&A" from Brainly. The unrestricted funds are provided, along with the access to Brainly's data, to start a new collaboration with them on various research problems around online Q&A (Sept. 2015-Aug. 2016; $30,000)
  • National Leadership Grant from IMLS with Dr. Marie Radford (Rutgers) and Dr. Lynn Connaway (OCLC) for project "Cyber Synergy" (Oct. 2011-Sept. 2013; $250,000). [News Story]
  • OCLC/ALISE Library & Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRGP) for project "Modalities, Motivations, and Materials: Investigating Traditional and Social Online Q&A Services" ($14,408). [News Story]
  • Books: 1
  • Journal Articles: 14
  • Papers in Conference Proceedings: 15
  • Posters: 6; Demos: 4
  • Panels: 4
  • USA: 8
  • International: 3
Social Media

I have been looking at various aspects of social media to address research questions relating information seeking and sharing through social/community channels such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Much of my work in this area has been interdisciplinary in nature, in that I have been collaborating with researchers from various fields such as political science, media studies, journalism, archiving and preservation, and information and computer sciences.

  • "Interactive technology for media literacy drug prevention in community groups” from the National Institute of Health (NIH). National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA). May 2017-April 2019; Greene, K. (Co-PI), Hench, M. (Co-PI) & Shah, C. (Co-I); $1,426,420)
  • Amazon's "Education and Research Award" (includes Amazon's infrastructure support and $1,400 in AWS credits)
  • Google Cloud Credits for project titled "Deriving Insights from Large ­Scale Social Media Data" (Sept. 2014-Aug. 2016; $10,000)
  • Amazon's "Education and Research Award" (includes Amazon's infrastructure support and $2,000 in AWS credits) [SC&I News Story] [Rutgers News Story]
  • NSF's Building Community and Capacity for Data-Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences and in Education and Human Resources (BCC-SBE/EHR) with Dr. Mor Naaman (Rutgers) and Dr. Winter Mason (Stevens) for project "Building Communities for Transforming Social Media Research with SOCRATES: SOcial and CRowdsourced AcTivities Extraction System" (Sept. 2012-Feb. 2016; $219,126) [News Story]
  • Sub-grant from the Smithsonian Institution through UMass Amherst to develop ContextMiner, InfoExtractor, and related services. (Jan. 2011-June 2011; $12,616)
  • Book Chapters: 1
  • Journal Articles: 8
  • Papers in Conference Proceedings: 14
  • Posters: 4; Demos: 6
  • Panels: 1
  • USA: 9
  • International: 1
SOCRATES cm cm cm
People Analytics

In the recent years, I have been investigating new modalities, such as mobile devices and personal sensors, to collect data about people to study them. I have called this area People Analytics.

  • Google Research Award with Dr. Vivek Singh for project "Predicting Search Behavior Using Physical and Online Explorations" (Sept. 2016-Aug. 2017; $62,813) [News story]
  • Papers in Conference Proceedings: 1
  • Posters: 2
  • Panels: 1