About me

I am a Lecturer (somewhat equivalent to the post of an Assistant Professor in the US) in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering in the University of Essex. Before embarking on a teaching and research journey, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Computer Science and Informatics in Cardiff University. At Cardiff, I was working with Professor Steven Schockaert. Before coming to the UK, I spent approximately six years in Hong Kong where I completed my PhD under the supervision of Professor Wai Lam at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

In the summer of 2019, I was the only academic from the European continent to be invited by Peking University to deliver lectures in their summer school on topics in machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT). I was awarded a full postgraduate scholarship to pursue my PhD research by the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM). At the CUHK, I have also worked with Professor Helen Meng as a postdoctoral researcher. Part of my postdoctoral work was supported by Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) and the Government of Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, I was involved in two large grants as a Co-Investigator. I was the only PhD student in the entire department to participate in the Best Research Awards in Hong Kong sponsored by the Hong Kong Chapter of the ACM and MSRA. At MSRA, I have worked with Xing Xie on an urban computing project. During my undergraduate study, I was awarded a seed-grant by my university as a Principal Investigator to further pursue my research on text mining and natural language processing. I was also interviewed by the Indian national media for my research accomplishments as an undergraduate student showcasing some of the contributions that I made. I did my internship at the Research and Development Division of Tata Steel, India where I worked on various novel projects. I was awarded a Letter of Appreciation for my excellent contributions to the company. I have appeared in the national print media on a few occasions, e.g., a) if you can read Urdu, b) winning an award at school.

My research interests mainly revolve around playing with and exploring text data emanating from varied sources such as online social networks, news articles, among various other resources. Some of this data could be very large such as the ClueWeb and some very small such as 20 Newsgroups each posing their underlying challenges. To learn meaningful information from the text, I propose novel computational methods - feel free to use the jargon machine learning on text data to describe what you’ve just read.

My PhD thesis (and here is the summary) contributed to our understanding of the importance of word order in text data. Modelling the word order has become increasingly popular recently, for instance, current state-of-the-art deep learning models heavily rely on the word order structure in text documents to learn the parameters of the model. We have seen some of the path-breaking results recently in natural language processing where models capture the order of the words in text documents.

[Research Keywords] Machine learning, data mining, text mining, information retrieval, word embeddings, deep learning, graphical models, Bayesian non-parametrics, online social networks.