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Meet the Team. Interview with Postdoctoral Fellow Ghazaal Sheikhi

by | Nov 15, 2021

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by Anna Pacholczyk

In Meet the Team series we introduce our audience to the brilliant people working at MediaFutures. Get to know us better by discovering who we are and what we do.

This week we are interviewing Ghazaal Sheikhi, Postodoctoral Fellow, associated with Work Package 3 – Media Content Production and Analysis. 

Can you give an introduction of yourself and your scientific background? 

My academic journey has been an exciting interdisciplinary experience. I have completed my BSc and MSc in biomedical engineering in two top-ranked universities in Iran and my PhD in computer engineering in Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus. At the time of my PhD course work, Pattern Recognition, Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimization and Data Mining courses opened new horizons for my thesis. I have investigated “Feature Selection in High Dimensional Spaces” which allowed me to develop strong analytical and programming skills specially in the field of machine learning (ML). I found myself absolutely fascinated by the idea of word embedding and vectorization. Inspired by these approaches, I have adapted new feature selection and dimensionality reduction techniques. The outcome of these works is published in peer-reviewed journals, and conference proceedings. I also have over 15 years of experience in a variety of research tasks and work experiences ranging from teaching engineering courses to designing industrial automation platforms.

Tell us about your research at MediaFutures and your role in Work Package 3.

Work Package 3’s focus is mainly on content analysis and production for journalism. There are different tasks defined in WP3 including textual content analysis and production, multimedia content verification and automated content creation. The key goal is to develop prototypes for newsrooms which are reliable and explainable for journalists. I will be conducting research on automated fact-checking approaches to enhance claim detection, verification, and justification. On one hand, the journalistic tasks enabled and powered by the designs and prototypes is intriguing and on the other hand the crucial role of AI systems, NLP models and, ML methods attracts my professional interest.

Things about MediaFutures you appreciate the most? 

I have always been keen on pursuing a research job which involves leveraging AI technology for the society. The objective of MediaFutures is truly appealing to me, particularly being in close communication with industry partners to receive feedbacks and opinions. Moreover, MediaFutures offers the best office space I have ever worked in, with quality equipment in a lively and yet comfortably peaceful environment. Finally, I appreciate how welcoming and friendly the team is. You feel the sense of belonging on the very first day!

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