CS Researcher Awarded NSF Grant

Towards Conversational Search Systems for Math

Dr. Behrooz Mansouri, an early-career researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern Maine, has been awarded a prestigious Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) grant from the National Science Foundation (Award ID 2348131). This grant program aims to provide essential resources and support to early-career faculty, enabling them to successfully launch and establish research careers.

Behrooz Mansouri

Through the project titled “MathMex,” Dr. Mansouri and his team at the Artificial Intelligence and Information Retrieval (AIIR) Lab, housed in the Dubyak Center, will embark on a groundbreaking journey to develop a novel conversational search engine for mathematical concepts. The project will involve the participation of four graduate and four undergraduate students, who will receive scholarships to contribute to this innovative research endeavor.

Current search engines often struggle to understand the nuances and complexities inherent in mathematical queries. Dr. Mansouri’s proposed system aims to revolutionize this landscape by enabling users to engage in a natural dialogue to find definitions, applications, and related concepts for any mathematical term they seek. To achieve this, the MathMex project will leverage cutting-edge techniques in natural language processing and information extraction and processing and analyzing documents from scientific papers, user forums, and other relevant sources to build a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts and their relationships.

One of the key objectives is to develop new and innovative information extraction methods that can accurately capture the intricate details and nuances of mathematical information. Additionally, user studies will be conducted to gather insights and feedback, allowing the team to iteratively improve the system’s performance and ensure a seamless and intuitive user experience.

Through this groundbreaking project, Dr. Mansouri and his team at the AIIR Lab aim to contribute significantly to natural language processing and information retrieval, focusing on enhancing the user experience in searching for and understanding mathematical concepts.

The CRII grant from the National Science Foundation recognizes the potential of Dr. Mansouri’s research. It highlights the University of Southern Maine’s commitment to fostering innovation and supporting early-career researchers in pursuing groundbreaking discoveries.