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Sarwar, Motwani Awarded Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar, Manish Motwani
Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar, Manish Motwani

Doctoral candidates Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar and Manish Motwani of the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst have been selected by the university's graduate school to receive Spring 2022 Dissertation Completion Fellowships. Each fellowship provides a $12,000 stipend aimed at assisting the work of students whose research was negatively impacted by the pandemic.  

Sarwar's dissertation, "Data Scarcity in Event Analysis and Abusive Language Detection," is advised by Professor James Allan, and addresses the challenge of data scarcity as a practical challenge for social science researchers, particularly in regards to event analysis and hate speech detection. His research focuses on the development of novel retrieval and classification algorithms with zero or limited human supervision. 

Sarwar works as a research assistant at the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, and has previously worked on the NSF-funded project SearchIE, a search-based approach to information extraction, and the IARPA-funded project CLEAR, that explores cross-language information finding using examples rather than queries. His recent papers, "Query By Example for Cross-Lingual Event Retrieval,'' and "Toward Neural Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval," were published in 2020 by the ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval. His recent works on abusive language detection, "Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Hate Speech Detection Using a Data Augmentation Approach," and "A Neighbourhood Framework for Resource-Lean Content Flagging," were accepted for publication by the 16th International Conference on Web and Social Media and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, respectively.

Motwani is advised by Professor Yuriy Brun, and his fellowship will aid his dissertation, "High-Quality Automated Program Repair." His work aims to reduce the time software engineers need to fix defects in software, and his dissertation provides multiple novel techniques for automated approaches to program repair techniques, fault localization, and patch validation steps.   

Motwani is a research assistant in the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research. He was previously a researcher in the Requirements Engineering group at TCS Research, Pune, India. His NSF-funded work on software test synthesis, "Automatically Generating Precise Oracles from Structured Natural Language Specifications," has been published in the International Conference on Software Engineering, and his work on automated program repair, "SOSRepair: Expressive Semantic Search for Real-World Program Repair" and "Quality of Automated Program Repair on Real-World Defects," were published in the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, among other venues.