Featured AI2er: Chandra Bhagavatula

Aug 5, 2019 · 2 min read
Chandra Bhagavatula is a Senior Research Scientist on the Mosaic team at AI2.

What put you on the path to your current role?

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Computer Science from NIT Allahabad in India. Next, I worked as a software engineer for a couple of years before moving to the US to join Northwestern University where I pursued my PhD in computer science. After graduating from NU, I joined AI2 as a researcher on the Semantic Scholar team. I moved to the Mosaic team just over a year ago.

What’s the most surprising or interesting thing that happened with your work at AI2 recently?

There has been tremendous progress in NLP in the last year or so with the advent of large-scale neural networks that achieve state-of-the-art performance on several benchmark datasets. So, it has been both challenging and super interesting to create commonsense benchmark datasets that modern neural networks still find hard to solve. Interestingly, DARPA’s MCS program has decided to use our benchmark datasets to measure progress in commonsense AI research.

What are you looking forward to with your work this fall?

The Mosaic team has multiple exciting submissions at EMNLP and I am really looking forward to all of us presenting them at the conference. We are also going to release several commonsense benchmark datasets for the research community and I am eager to see how the community receives them and the new methods researchers will invent to tackle the challenges posed by our benchmarks.

One piece of advice you’d give an aspiring researcher:

It is important to be cognizant about your priorities and evaluate periodically if you are aligned with them. This applies to choosing between research ideas to pursue or for maintaining work-life balance.

What’s the most underrated activity or place in Seattle?

I live on the Eastside — so some of my favorite spots are on the other side of the lake. Old Bellevue is a great area for a summer evening walk with many nice restaurants with outdoor seating. Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland is also one of my favorites. In Seattle, West Point Lighthouse is a nice little serene spot accessible from Discovery Park.

Photo by Paul Matheson on Unsplash

Follow AI2 on Twitter @allen_ai.


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