Chirag Shah

Chirag Shah photo


Associate Professor


Information School, University of Washington



Graduation year:

"I couldn't be where I am without SILS."

Chirag Shah (PhD ’10) is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s Information School. At UW, he directs the InfoSeeking Lab, as well as special interest groups on Neural IR, Social Information Seeking, and Sensor-Aware Information Seeking Behavior.

His previous roles include Visiting Research Scientist at Spotify, Amazon Scholar, and Associate Professor at Rutgers University. He has served on the board of Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) as the Director of the Chapter Assembly and received the James M. Cretsos Leadership Award from ASIS&T.

Shah’s research interests include studies of interactive information retrieval/seeking, trying to understand the task a person is doing and providing proactive recommendations. He also studies social media and data generated by wearable devices as kinds of signals that can help us understand and influence human behaviors.

In addition to his PhD from SILS, he holds an MTech in computer science & engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, India and an MS in computer science from University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst.

Shah has published and talked extensively on topics related to social and collaborative information seeking, interactive information retrieval, and social media. He serves as a consultant to the United Nations Data Analytics on various Data Science projects involving social and political issues, peacekeeping, climate change, and energy. He has received best paper awards for his research from ACM SIGIR, JCDL, and ASIS&T SIG USE.

Shah has been awarded research funding from multiple private and public organizations, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Amazon, and Google.

"I couldn't be where I am without SILS," Shah said. "My professional training was strengthened by courses and especially research activities at SILS. Courses such as the doctoral seminar, human-information organization, and the seminar on college teaching helped me shape my thinking and career for academia. I was also very fortunate to have worked with Gary Marchionini, Diane Kelly, and Jeffrey Pomerantz, among other prominent faculty, who not only supported my research, but also encouraged me to pursue it as a career."

For more about Shah and his research, visit