[ About me ]
Smiley face

Hello! My name is Sandeep Avula and I am currently a Research Scientist at Amazon. At Amazon, I conduct research that lies in the intersection of HCI and Machine Learning. I got my PhD from the School of Information and Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill. I am from the awesome city of Hyderabad, India, which is famous for its food and diversity. Before my PhD, I received my Masters in Information Science from UNC Chapel Hill and Bachelors of Technology in Information and Communication Technology from DA-IICT.

For more information: CV

Some old teaching material: INLS 613 [Summer 2019]

[ Research Interests ]

My research falls in the intersection of Machine Learning (ML) and Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI), more specifically focussed on Information Retrieval (IR) Systems. At Amazon, I get the opportunity to conduct research that sits between HCI and ML. Some of the public facing products I worked on include: Amazon Shopping List and Amazon Choice. I have also recently started taking interest in VR for e-Commerce. In grad school, I was supervised by Prof. Jaime Arguello. During that time, I worked on understanding how collaborative conversational agents can assist people in their information seeking processes. To this end, I conducted user studies, many of which were Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ), through chatbots on Slack to study participants information-seeking behaviors.

I also worked on problems related to speech enabled information retrieval, with the focus on understanding how query performance predictors can improve retreival effectiveness of spoken queries.

[ Publications ]

[ 2022 ]

Sandeep Avula, Bogeum Choi and Jaime Arguello. "The Effects of System Initiative during Conversational Collaborative Search". Proceedings of the 25th ACM Conference On Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing (CSCW'22), 2022. [Honorable Mention] [Methods Recognition]

Gustavo Penha, Eyal Krikon, Vanessa Murdock, and Sandeep Avula "Helping Voice Shoppers Make Purchase Decisions". In Proceedings of the 2022 CHI conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems (CHI'22), 2022.

[ 2021 ]

Austin Ward, Yiyin Gu, Sandeep Avula, and Praneeth Chakravarthula. "Interacting with Information in Immersive Virtual Environments.". In Proceedings of the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR '21), 2021.

[ 2020 ]

Sandeep Avula and Jaime Arguello. "Wizard of Oz Interface to Study System Initiative for Conversational Search". To appear in the Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR'20), 2020.

[ 2019 ]

Javed Mostafa, Xiaopeng Lu, and Sandeep Avula. "Perennial, Permuted, and Pervasive Search in Ambient Intelligence". To appear in the Proceedings of the The First IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Machine Intelligence (CogMI'19), 2019.

Sandeep Avula, Jaime Arguello, Robert Capra, Jordan Dodson, Yuhui Huang, and Filip Radlinski. "Embedding Search into a Conversational Platform to Support Collaborative Search". In the Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR'19), 2019.

[ 2018 ]

Sandeep Avula. "Wizard of Oz: Protocols and Challenges in Studying Searchbots to Support Collaborative Search". To appear in the 2nd SIGIR Workshop on Conversational Approaches to Information Retrieval (CAIR'18), 2018.

Sandeep Avula, Gordon Chadwick, Jaime Arguello and Robert Capra. "SearchBots: User Engagement with ChatBots during Collaborative Search". In the Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR'18), 2018.

[ 2017 ]

Sandeep Avula. "Searchbots: Using Chatbots in Collaborative Information-seeking Tasks". In the Proceedings of the 40th Annnual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research & Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR'17), 2017.

Jaime Arguello, Sandeep Avula and Fernando Diaz. "Using Query Performance Predictors to Reduce Spoken Queries". In the Proceedings of the 39th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'17), 2017.

[ 2016 ]

Jaime Arguello, Sandeep Avula, and Fernando Diaz. "Using Query Performance Predictors to Improve Spoken Queries". In the Proceedings of the 38th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'16), 2016.

[ 2015 ]

Sandeep Avula and Jaime Arguello. "Query-expansion Approaches for Microblog Retrieval". In Proceedings of the 24th Text REtrieval Conference (TREC'15), National Institute of Standards and Technology, special publication, 2015.

[ 2013 ]

Sandeep Avula, John O'Connor, and Jaime Arguello. "A Nearest-Neighbor Approach to Contextual Suggestion". In Proceedings of the 22nd Text REtrieval Conference (TREC'13), National Institute of Standards and Technology, special publication, 2013.

[ Patents ]

Sandeep Avula, Vanessa Graham Murdock. "Interaction with mobile application-based item lists via lock screen notifications". Filed 2021. Accepted 2022.

Javed Mostafa, Xiaopeng Lu, Sandeep Avula. "METHODS, SYSTEMS, AND COMPUTER READABLE MEDIA FOR CREATING AND USING MINIMUM DICTIONARY LANGUAGE (MDL) TO ACCESS DATA IN CLOSED-DOMAIN DATA SETS". Filed 2020. Accepted 2022.

[ Non work stuff ]
  • Crossfit! This is the box I regularly visit and no, I am not a crossfit bro. Just regular ol' weights.