Emory University Iris.jpg
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Faculty advisor: Eugene Agichtein

IRIS

We are a team of student researchers from the IRLab at Emory University with enthusiasm in the advancement of conversational AI.

We specialize in Information Retrieval, Question Answering, and Web Search, as indicated by our team name, IRIS (Information Retrieval & Informative Suggestion). Our goal is to create an informative search-oriented agent with the capacity of conducting fluent and entertaining conversations. Our team consists of several Ph.D. and undergraduate students with diverse academic backgrounds, such as mathematics, computer science, and engineering. We are excited about the opportunity to extend the state of the art in conversational search, while stress-testing our ideas in a real-world challenge.

Zihao W. - Team leader

I am a 2nd year Ph.D student in Computer Science and Informatics at Emory University. I am passionate about the advancement of conversational AI. I have worked on different applications of general machine learning, deep learning, and natural language understanding techniques. I was the Team Lead of Emerson team for the Alexa Prize 2017, and we achieved 5th in the final ranking. I will be mainly devoted to the dialogue manager design, and natural language understanding in the Alexa Prize 2018.

Ali A.

I am a second year PhD student in Computer Science and I obtained my Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence. Moreover, I was a team member in the 2017 Alexa Prize competition, and our team achieved 5th in the final ranking. I mainly worked on the design of the multi-level intent classifier, the proactive recommendation mechanism, and several other information retrieval components such as News and Movies. Furthermore, I have been working on procedural question-answering by experimenting with different information retrieval, machine learning, and deep learning methods, integrating different data sources. These experiences would provide me sufficient support for this competition.

Harshita S.

I am a first-year Computer Science and Informatics PhD student at Emory University. I got my Bachelor's degree in Information and Communication Technology at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute in India. I find making search engines more intelligent an exciting challenge to work on, and information retrieval and natural language processing are my major research interests.

Mingyang S.

Im a junior computer science student in Emory college, with experience of system programming, data mining, natural language processing and artificial intelligence. Specifically, I'm interested in the application of NLP tools to information extraction and usage of results to do intent-based tasks. One of my projects is MedEntityTagger, which extracts keywords from a large chunk of medical queries and labels medical entities using UMLS library. The extracted entities and their labels could be further used to do intent-based classification and queries could be submitted to different directions: symptom checker, nearest hospital location, information retrieval from Wikipedia, etc.

Sergey V.

Has been working on recommendation systems and will work on information retrieval component design, and proactive recommendation, with particular focus in Music. Came to Emory straight from math undergrad in Moscow, Russia.

Jason C.

I am a first year masters student in Computer Science with a Data Science concentration at Emory University. I am originally from South Korea, and started my undergraduate degree also from Emory University, and finished my Bachelors degree on computer science in 2017. I was also a participant of 2017 Alexa Prize, and contributed to the team by designing various information retrieval modules, coreference resolution, entity disambiguation and much more. My research areas are specialized on open-domain dialogue systems, conversational search and question-answering.

Justus S.

N/A

Eugene Agichtein - Faculty advisor

I am an Associate Professor in the Math and Computer Science department, and am on the core faculty of the Emory Biomedical Informatics program. I founded and lead the Emory Intelligent Information Access Laboratory. My research interests are in web search and information retrieval, text and data mining, and human-computer interaction. I got a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University, and a B.S. in Engineering from The Cooper Union. I am also a Sloan Research Fellow, a member of the DARPA Computer Science Study Group, and a recipient of four best paper awards.

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