I am an Assistant Professor in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I also serve as the Associate Director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR). My research focuses on designing and evaluating statistical and machine learning models with applications to (interactive) information access systems, including search engines, recommender systems, and question answering. I am currently focusing on Neural Information Retrieval and Conversational Search.

Prior to UMass, I was a Researcher at Microsoft, working on a wide range of problems related to search engines. I received my Ph.D. in 2019 from UMass under the direction of W. Bruce Croft. I am the recipient of the UMass CICS Outstanding Dissertation Award for my Ph.D. thesis on weakly supervised neural information retrieval. I obtained my M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the University of Tehran.

dblp – Google Scholar


Prospective PhD Students: I am always looking for highly motivated and talented students. If you’re interested in my research, please apply to our PhD program and list me as a potential advisor.

Prospective Postdocs: If you have a strong publication record in information retrieval and related fields and are interested in my research, please feel free to drop me an email.

Prospective Visiting Students and Scholars: If you are currently a PhD student, postdoctoral scholar, researcher, or faculty in information retrieval or related fields and are interested in visiting the Center for Intelligent for Information Retrieval (CIIR), please feel free to drop me an email.

News / Updates:

  • Nov 2021: We will organize a workshop on “Interactive and Scalable Information Retrieval Methods for E-Commerce” in conjunction with WSDM 2022. 
  • Aug 2021: Two full papers accepted at CIKM 2021. See publication page.
  • May 2021: Our proposal has been selected for Alexa Prize 2021. Read more about our participation here.
  • May 2021: 6 papers accepted at SIGIR 2021! See publication page.
  • Oct 2020: Our MIMICS paper has received the Best Paper Award from CIKM 2020 – The Resource Paper Track.
  • Sep 2020: Joining CIIR at UMass as an Assistant Professor.
  • Apr 2020: 6 papers (3 full, 2 short, and 1 demo) accepted at SIGIR 2020! See publication page.
  • Feb 2020: I gave a keynote on “Towards Mixed-Initiative Conversational Information Seeking” at the ConvERSe workshop @ WSDM 2020.
  • Dec 2019: We have designed and implemented an open-source platform for conversational information seeking research, called Macaw. Macaw is open-sourced under the MIT License [paper] [GitHub Repo].