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Rahul Bhagat

Part-Time Lecturer - Seattle


Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: Rahul Bhagat
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5000


  • PhD in Computer Science, University of Southern California
  • MS in Computer Science, University of Southern California
  • BE in Computer Science, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology


Rahul Bhagat is a Senior Manager for Applied Science at Amazon Inc. He has over 15 years of experience leading science, engineering, and product development in industry and academia. His primary interests lie in developing products and algorithms that solve real world problems through advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Personalization, and Information Retrieval (IR). Rahul pioneered a new area in personalized recommendations called “Repeat Purchase Recommendations” by inventing the “Buy it Again” recommendations on Amazon. These recommendations significantly simplified the shopping experience for Amazon customers by making it easy for them to shop for everyday essentials (e.g., groceries, diapers, etc.) that they tend to buy over and over again. His interests include query understanding, document understanding, personalized recommendations, large-scale text mining, information extraction, and applied semantics. Rahul has been at Amazon since 2009 and currently leads a team of managers, scientists, and engineers focused on improving Amazon Search using advanced NLP. During his time at Amazon, Rahul and his teams have impacted and improved all the major search and discovery features at Amazon including Amazon search, Amazon home page, Amazon product details page, Amazon checkout experiences, among others and generated over a billion dollars in incremental sales through controlled experimentation.

Prior to Amazon, Rahul earned a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Southern California under Dr. Eduard Hovy with a thesis on Learning Paraphrases from (natural language) Text. During his PhD, he spent Summer 2007 and Summer 2008 in the Google Research group. Before that, he spent two (2) years as a Sr. Programmer Analyst at the Information Sciences Institute working with Dr. Eduard Hovy. Prior to that, he obtained a Master’s (MS) degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and Bachelor’s (BE) degree also in Computer Science from the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in Nagpur, India.

Rahul has published 10+ papers in top-tier peer reviewed conferences and journals, has 8 issued patents, and 10+ patents pending. He has also served as a Program Committee member and reviewer for top tier conferences including Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), North American Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technology (NAACL-HLT), International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), and European Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL).

Field of research/teaching

Natural Language Processing

What is your research focus in a bit more detail? Is your current research path what you always had in mind for yourself, or has it evolved somewhat? If so, how/why?

My primary research is on using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to improve Product Search. My research path has certainly evolved. While I spent a large part of my research and industry career working on standard applications of NLP like Information Extraction and Dialogue the applications of NLP to product search has been a new and rewarding experience. My research evolved in this direction because I realized that there is a huge opportunity to improve product search through advances in NLP.

What courses/subjects do you teach?

I teach a graduate course on Natural Language Processing (C6120).