I am a second-year PhD student at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington. I work with Prof. Tim Althoff in the Behavioral Data Science and Natural Language Processing group. My research interests lie at the intersection of Natural Language Processing, Conversational AI, and Computational Social Science. In particular, I am passionate about problems related to conversational intelligence and NLP for mental health. My current research builds computational techniques for encouraging empathic conversations in text-based mental health support.

Prior to this, I was a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research, India. I worked with Dr. Monojit Choudhury on engagement patterns and conversational behavior in online mental health platforms. I have a dual degree (B.Tech. + M.Tech.) in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. For my bachelor's and master's thesis projects, I was advised by Prof. Niloy Ganguly. I have also done research internships at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Adobe Research Lab, India. For more details, refer to my Resume or drop me an email!

News and Updates

  • Feb 2021: Invited talk on Towards Facilitating Empathic Conversations in Online Mental Health Support at the University of Chicago
  • Jan 2021: Paper on Empathic Rewriting accepted at WWW 2021
  • Sep 2020: Our paper titled A Computational Approach to Understanding Empathy Expressed in Text-Based Mental Health Support accepted at EMNLP 2020
  • July 2020: We received the Microsoft AI for Accessibility grant for our research on understanding empathy in text-based mental health support (with Tim Althoff, Dave Atkins, and Adam Miner)
  • Mar 2020: Paper on engagement patterns of online mental health support conversations accepted at ICWSM 2020
  • Mar 2020: Invited talk on NLP for Mental Health at the University of Connecticut
  • Sep 2019: Started my PhD at the University of Washington

Publications

Towards Facilitating Empathic Conversations in Online Mental Health Support: A Reinforcement Learning Approach
Ashish Sharma, Inna Lin, Adam Miner, Dave Atkins, and Tim Althoff
WWW'21 | The Web Conference 2021
pdf

A Computational Approach to Understanding Empathy Expressed in Text-Based Mental Health Support
Ashish Sharma, Adam Miner, Dave Atkins, and Tim Althoff
EMNLP'20 | The 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
pdf project page video

Engagement Patterns of Peer-to-Peer Interactions on Mental Health Platforms
Ashish Sharma, Monojit Choudhury, Tim Althoff, and Amit Sharma
ICWSM'20 | 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
pdf video

Going Beyond Content Richness: Verified Information Aware Summarization of Crisis-Related Microblogs
Ashish Sharma, Koustav Rudra, and Niloy Ganguly
CIKM'19 | 28th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
pdf

An Adversarial Approach to Improve Long-Tail Performance in Neural Collaborative Filtering
Adit Krishnan, Ashish Sharma, Aravind Sankar, and Hari Sundaram
CIKM'18 | 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (Short Paper)
pdf code

Insights from the Long-Tail: Learning Latent Representations of Online User Behavior in the Presence of Skew and Sparsity
Adit Krishnan, Ashish Sharma, and Hari Sundaram
CIKM'18 | 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
pdf code

CommBox: Utilizing Sensors for Real-Time Cricket Shot Identification & Commentary Generation [Best Academic Demo]
Ashish Sharma, Jatin Arora, Pritam Khan, Sidhartha Satapathy, Sumit Agarwal, Satadal Sengupta, Sankarshan Mridha, and Niloy Ganguly
COMSNETS'17 | 9th International Conference on Communication Systems & Networks
pdf code demo

Awards and Achievements

  • Awarded Student Par-Excellence Award from Computer Science Department, IIT Kharagpur
  • Awarded Goralal Syngal Memorial Scholarship for academic excellence during 2015-2016
  • Received Best Academic Demo Award for CommBox at COMSNETS 2017
  • Awarded S.N. Bose Scholarship for summer internship at UIUC in 2017. One of the 50 scholars from India
  • Selected for Viterbi-India Program 2017 for a summer internship at University of Southern California

Teaching


  Template: Sebastin Santy, Satwik Bhattamishra