Davood Rafiei, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Computing Science


Professor, Faculty of Science - Computing Science


Area of Study / Keywords

Database systems NLP IR



  • B.Sc., Computer Engineering, Sharif University of Technology (Tehran), 1990
  • M.Sc., Computer Science, University of Waterloo, 1995
  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Toronto, 1999

Davood Rafiei did his undergrad work at Sharif, his M.Sc. in Waterloo and his PhD in Toronto. He joined the University of Alberta in 2000, where he is now Professor of Computer Science and member of the Database Systems Research Group. Davood has served in the program committees of both database conferences such as SIGMOD and VLDB and Web conferences such as WWW. His areas of interest also span over databases and the Web and include integrating natural language text with relational data, Web information retrieval and similarity queries and indexing. Davood was a visiting scientist at Google (Mountain View) for a year between 2007-2008, a visiting professor at Kyoto University in 2014 and a visiting professor at the University of Paris (Descartes) in 2015. He is a co-author of two books on natural language interfaces to databases.



Natural language interfaces to databases, Data integration, Large language models, Web and social media search and analysis.

My current research focuses on two main areas: natural language interfaces to databases and data integration. Our work leverages large language models to tackle challenging problems that arise in these domains. Additionally, I have been actively pursusing various other research endeavors, including but not limited to question answering, entity resolution, information retrieval, and the querying and analysis of large complex data. 


  • Natural language interfaces to databases (text to data, data to text)
  • Data integration
  • Web tables
  • Entity resolution
  • Question answering