Hi! I'm Vikas Kumar, a PhD Candidate at GroupLens Research,
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Recommendation Systems (Multimedia: Music, Movies and Images); Social Computing; Human Computer Interaction; Machine Learning and Information Retrieval.


User interactions with online multimedia provide multiple aspects of users' dynamic preferences and behavior. My interest lies in understanding and modeling such dynamic preferences to build more effective music, movie or photo recommendations. Apart from analyzing user interactions, I am also exploring the importance of location in user behavior and establishing meaningful context for more diverse and novel recommendations.

Recent News

September 2016

Completed an exciting Summer 2016 internship @Google Research working with Ed Chi and Sagar Jain.

February 2016

Attended CSCW 2016 in San Francisco.

September 2015

Presented my work @RecSys 2015 and LocalRec 2015 in Vienna, Austria

July 2015

Distant Neighbors paper accepted at LocalRec workshop at RecSys 2015

July 2015

Novelty preference in Recommenders paper accepted at ACM RecSys 2015

July 2015

Won third prize at Yahoo Labs 10th Anniversary fast paced research presentation

May 2015

Joined Yahoo Labs! for a summer internship. With David Ayman Shamma, Saeideh Bakhshi and Lyndon Kennedy



  • Adaptive City Characteristics: How Location Familiarity Changes What Is Regionally Descriptive
    Vikas Kumar, Saeideh Bakhshi, Lyndon Kennedy, David A. Shamma| ACM UMAP 2017| Paper| Slides
  • The Force Within: Recommendations Via Gravitational Attraction Between Items
    Vikas Kumar, Saeideh Bakhshi, Lyndon Kennedy, David A. Shamma| ACM UMAP 2017| Paper| Slides


  • "I like to explore sometimes": Adapting to Dynamic User Novelty Preferences
    Komal Kapoor, Vikas Kumar, Loren Terveen, Joseph A. Konstan, Paul Schrater| ACM RecSys 2015| Paper| Slides
  • #JelloResearchStatement

    Jello can be found in different color and shape. Wise jello-ers believe that people like Jello often of only certain color and shape. However, based on my jello experience, I find that my friends do not always like the same color and shape. And that, though they prefer the green Jello shots in round cups, they do sometime prefer the Jello of different shape and color. As I believed, I saw similar dilemma among various other jello lovers. Thus, I build a Jello maker that can make the right color and shape that my friends are likely to try.



  • Specialization, Homophily, and Gender in a Social Curation Site: Findings from Pinterest.
    Shuo Chang, Vikas Kumar, Eric Gilbert, Loren Terveen| ACM CSCW 2014| Paper Slides


  • An Extended Approach to Personalize the Web Search by Measuring User Relevance.
    Vikas Kumar, Ashok S.O., S.K. Jena| SWWS 2014| Paper Slides


  • Machine Learning to Predict the Incidence of Retinipathy of Prematurity.
    Aniket Ray, Vikas Kumar, Balaraman Ravindran, Lingam Gopal, Aditya Verma| AAAI FLAIRS 2008| Paper


Updated September 2015


For any question/feedback/inquiry about my work or any dataset involved please email to vikas [at] cs [dot] umn [dot] edu