Research

Research Areas

  • My research focus is on making relevant content accessible using information retrieval, information extraction, summarization, and personalization technologies. Almost everything related to unstructured data analytics interests me and I am more keen on textual information access across languages and sources (web, enterprise, social etc). I am also interested in cloud computing, large scale software development, software architecture and software engineering education.

Journey so far

  • 2013-now
    CEO of IIIT Hyderabad Foundation, IIIT Hyderabad
    • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Affairs, Industry Relations, Institution Building.
  • 2011-now
    Professor, IIIT Hyderabad
    • Teaching, Research.
  • 2013-2019
    Dean (Research & Development), IIIT Hyderabad
    • Research infrastructure creation (external and internal) – Institution building.
    • Two terms of three years each.
  • 2017-2019
    Mentor Dean (Research), IIIT SriCity, Chittoor, AP
    • Research infrastructure creation (external and internal) – Institution building.
  • 2005-2011
    Associate Professor, IIIT Hyderabad
    • Teaching, Research.
  • 2002-2005
    Assistant Professor, IIIT Hyderabad
    • Teaching, Research.
  • 2001-2002
    President, Media Cognition India Private Limited, Hyderabad, India
    Chief Architect, Media Cognition Inc., Cupertino, CA, USA
    • CXO position – AI software development.
  • 1997-2001
    Director, Engineering & Research, InfoDream Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, USA
    • Leadership position - AI software development.
  • 1996-1997
    Senior Consultant, Ascent Computing Group - White Plains, NY, USA. Consulting at Citicorp, NYC and at Muze Inc., NYC
    • Software development.
  • 1993-1996
    Senior Research Fellow, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India
    • Research.
  • 1991-1993
    Project Engineer, Center for NL Research, IIT Kanpur, India
    • Research.

Awards & Grants

  • 2017
    Adobe Faculty Research Grant
  • 2016
    European Union Visiting Faculty Grant to visit University of Aegean (Greece)
  • 2010
    CMU – Language Technologies Institute Grant to spend summer at CMU, Pittsburg
  • 2008
    European Union Visiting Faculty Grant – University Western Brittany (France)
  • 2007
    European Union Visiting Faculty Grant – UPV, Valencia (Spain)
  • 2007
    Research Faculty Award and Grant from AOL Labs, USA
  • 2005
    Young Scientist Award Grant – Fast track from Dept. of Science & Technology

Engineering Contributions & Accomplishments

  • Prof Vasudeva Varma and his team developed India’s first cross language search engine (webKhoj) which led to a major nation-wide initiative called CLIA (supported by MeitY)
  • He has been developing multi-document summarization technology since 2005 which proved to be world’s best summarization system during 2006-2010 in international competitions in the form of DUC (Document Understanding Conferences) and TAC (Text Analysis Conferences) conducted by NIST, USA.
  • This summarization technology was transferred to the industry and start-up and resulted in close to 100 research publications.
  • Several variations of the summarization technology was used in Patent search applications (IRF2010), squishy question answering systems (TAC-2008), Knowledge Base Population tasks (TAC2009), Cross Language summarization (CLEF-2008) etc.
  • With grants from Nokia research, Prof. Varma developed personalized search engine technology which was transferred to Nokia Research Labs in Finland
  • He recently initiated a major effort in solving fake news problem (resulted in a technology suite called Fake-O-Meter), Hate Speech identification and content repurposing technologies in the context of social media conversations. These technologies along with summarization technologies are being transferred/adopted by various organizations including media houses and finance/insurance organizations proving the relevance and maturity of the technologies developed.
  • He works closely with the IT industry viz., Adobe, Microsoft, Amazon, AOL, Yahoo, Nokia, Intel, TCS, Rediff.com, Mahindra among many others. He obtained government grants / grant-in-aid from Ministry of Electronics &Information Technology (MeitY), Department of Space, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Science and Technology (DST) for conducting research in the areas.
  • Dr Varma has published a book on software architecture and, about three hundred technical papers in the form of book chapters, journals and conference papers.
  • He was a Visiting Professor at Universidad Politcnica de Valencia (UPV), Valencia, Spain (Summer 2007), Universit de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO), Brest, France (Summer 2009) and was at LTI, CMU, Pittsburgh during summer 2010, University Aegean, Greece (Summer 2016)
  • He has Co-founded SETU Software Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Now, Veooz Labs). Veooz, is Social signal based content discovery platform with social media search and analysis capabilities.
  • Prof. Varma has served as an Expert member for several committees at national-level.
  • He is recently elected to ACM India Council.
  • He is a founding member of two SIG’s of ACM India: IKDD (Data Sciences) and ISOFT (Software Engineering area)

Conference Organization and Community Service

  • I'm also involved in organizing several reputed conferences. The following are some of the responsibilities that I am holding in the recent past:

    CoDS COMAD 2020 (General Chair) ICSE-2014 (Conference Chair) ISEC-2012 (Program Co-Chair), ISEC-2011 (Workshop/Tutorial Co-Chair), WWW-2011 (Co-chair, PhD Symposium), CSEE&T-2009 (Conference Chair), ICON-2009 (co-Program Chair), local organization of IJCAI-07, IJCNLP-2008, ISEC-2008. I also served as a program committee member of several conference series including ACL, IJCNLP, ISEC, ICON, CSEE&T. I am involved in reviewing journal articles for AI Journal, Computational Linguistics etc., regularly. I have conducted several workshops (CLIA workshop series, IICAI special sessions on NLP) and served in the steering committees of CSEE&T, CSI-SIGSE, member of working groups of standards and, as a awards committee member (Hyderabad Software Exports Association - HYSEA) for start up companies in India.

Past Grants & Technology Transfers

  • o Enterprise search using advanced NLP techniques and Ontologies - Grant from TCS (2008-2011)
  • o Improving TF/IDF scores in document search using Co-reference resolution - Grant from AOL India (2010-2011)
  • o Summarizing Social Interactions - Grant from 24x7 Customer Innovation Labs (2011-12)
  • o Department Communications and Information Technology (DCIT), Government of India: Cross Language Information Access (2007-2010)
  • o Intel Higher Education: Role Based Enterprise Search (2007-2008)
  • o Nokia University Relations: Personalized Summaries for Mobile Devices (2007-2008)
  • o Satyam Learning Center: Improving the Quality of Entry Level Training Program (2007-2009)
  • o Department of Science and Technology (DST: Personalized Search Engines (2005-2008)
  • o InfoKnox Pvt Ltd.: Skill and Extraction and Matching System using Information Extraction Technology (2007-2008)
  • o AOL: Working with AOL team to develop personalized summarization system for the news feeds – project under the research faculty award grant (2007-2008)
  • o Amazon.com India: Address Validation Engine using Named Entity Recognition. (2008-2009)
  • o Nokia Research Center (NRC) Helsinki: Validating Information Access through Personalized Summaries from Mobile Devices (2008-2009)
  • o Nokia Research Center (NRC) Helsinki: Search Using Image as Query (2008-2009)
  • o Satyam Mahindra: Evaluation of SOA & Multi-Lingual Portals (2008-2009)
  • o Nokia Research Center (NRC) Helsinki: A platform for Implementing Intelligent Classrooms Using N810 devices. (2009-2010)
  • o Yahoo India, Grid/Cloud Computing (nurture an area scheme). (2008-2010)
  • o AOL: Improving TF IDF scores using co-reference resolution (2009-2010)
  • o Nokia Research Center, Finland: Personalized search engines on mobile devices (2008-2010)
  • o ADRIN - Department of Space, Government of India: Information Extraction Engine for Disaster Management (2008-2009)
  • o Department of Science and Technology: Tools for Indian Language Search Engines (2002-2005)
  • o Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India: RAVI - Reading aid Software for Visually Impaired (2004-2006)
  • o Nokia Research Center, Asia Pacific: Hindi Text to Speech on Mobile devices (2007-2008)
  • o Zycorp, Canada: Generating wordlists of frequently occurring words in Indian language (2007)