Opportunities at InfoSense

InfoSense is a research lab in the Department of Computer Science, Georgetown University. We research on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information Retrieval (IR), Machine Learning (ML), and Privacy. We care about how people seek and process “information” and make “sense” out of it, with the assistance of AI and hopefully in a privacy-preserving manner. Formed by undergraduates, Master’s, Ph.Ds., Post-docs, Programmers and faculty, the research team devote our passion and energy into both theories and systems development of human-centered AI.

At InfoSense, we actively look for highly motivated Ph.D. students with a strong mathematics background, excellent programming skills, and good communication and writing skills. Our Lab focuses on “whole-person” education. We aim to empower the students to be top researchers in the field. We provide students with diverse courses, highly-interactive apprenticeship learning, frequent travel opportunities to conferences and meetings, and a wide range of job prospects after graduation. Being in the heart of Washington, DC also gives our students a good quality of life and opportunities to engage in public and private sector internships, national and international collaborations, and regional events.

Our Ph.D. program will roughly last for five years. The offer includes full tuition, a monthly stipend, and health insurance for five years. For exceptional Master’s students, our Lab offers partial or full scholarships, too. Accepted students will need to fulfill the department’s degree requirements. At the department, the graduate courses span both applied and theoretical areas of computer science. We have exceptional job placement in the top tech firms, national labs, and government agencies. Our nurturing environment builds a strong community among students and faculty.

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

  • Two five-year Ph.D. positions for “search engines as bots”.

    Search engines are perhaps the most successful application that has changed how people seek information and acquire knowledge. We view search engines as intelligent bots who interact with human users and provide answers to them. In the meantime, you might only see lists of relevant documents being returned to the humans. However, as AI and search engine researchers, we envision a much richer way of interaction between humans and search engines. Essentially, search engines, who have already served this role in the current primitive form, will continue to be bots that assist humans to find answers. The range of interaction, communication, and mutual growth between the two would cover collaboratively finishing a task (e.g. collecting information and making decisions to purchase a home), exploring an unknown knowledge field, life-long learning, and many more. The key thing distinguishes search engines from other AI fields is that we will always have humans in-the-loop. The humans play important roles in our research and the search engines will always put human users in the center.

  • 1 five-year Ph.D. position for “privacy-preserving information retrieval”.

    Privacy and personalization seem to be born opponents. While users enjoy personalized services from search engines, recommender systems, social media, transportation, and deliveries, they grant those companies entrance to their personal life without a complete understanding of the risks. Privacy has become a battlefield for the governments, the companies, the innocent users, and competitors of those companies including small businesses and professors. As academic researchers, we cannot change the current policies. But we can research and improve the situation from the technical perspective. Our Lab is interested in creating privacy-preserving information retrieval algorithms that would perform information seeking tasks while protecting users’ privacy. We are also interested in revealing privacy risks to the users before they submit any data to the companies. Ultimately, we hope to help every user manage their own data and deserved services, breaking the curse of centralized data ownership.

If you are serious about Information Retrieval research and/or aim to invent the next big thing on the Web, please contact us at grace.yang@georgetown.edu.