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October, 2016

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Alexander Oeser has successfully presented his student project at Expo 2016


The annual EXPO of the Department of Informatics at University Hamburg is an exhibition of student projects including Study-, Bachelor- and Master theses. This year our student Alexander Oeser has successfully presented his student project “Enrich an API reference documentation with Software Development Screencasts” supervised by Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej and Mathias Ellmann. The research aimed to answer the question on whether a software development screencast can enrich an API reference documentation as the Java SDK 6. The project also aimed to study how to identify a software development screencast from other videos which are located on YouTube. Alexander Oeser has used different algorithms as the Jaccard, Cosine or LSI algorithm to identify those and to assign the screencasts to different categories (system set-up, code compilation or programming). Finally he made a similarity analysis that provide the best 20 API documents from all 9000 existing documents of the Java SDK 6. He will extend his study in his master thesis to get deeper insights of the overall research object which he will face soon.

New Semester, New Teaching and Learning Challenges


We are proud to announce that the Applied Software Technology team will offer four courses in this winter semester (WS 2016/17), two among them are new.

Softwareentwicklung I (B.Sc. level): In this introductory lecture-course we explain fundamental methods and concepts of software development. We expect 600-700 students from different study majors.

Softwareentwicklung I Übung (B.Sc level): This is the lab course (practical part) of SE1. The students will solve software development tasks in pair-programming (basic programming concepts, object oriented programming, basic testing tasks, interfaces, collections etc.). This class will be supported by about 50 Teaching Assistants. It is thus a big logistic challenge in addition to the pedagogical challenge.

M-Lab & M-Lab Global (B.Sc. and M.Sc. level): In this project course students develop innovative Apps in small teams, under real conditions and tight project deadlines, for real customers from industry, society and the public sector. This winter term we introduce the first global instance of M-Lab, where students will have the chance to work together in globally distributed teams with students from the University of Bari (Italy) and the University of Pennsylvania (USA).

Doctoral Seminar (Ph.D. level): In this advanced seminar, doctoral students will present and discuss topics from three pillars: Research content, research methodology, and state-of-the-art technologies. International guests  regularly join this seminar too.

Carina Volkmer Joins Our Team


The Applied Software Technology Group welcomes our new team member Carina Volkmer.

Carina joined our group in October 2016 and will be the personal assistant of Prof. Maalej and also responsible for administration and communication matters. She will take over the role of Heidi Oskarsson, who will go in deserved retirement. Previously Carina Volkmer successfully studied languages and worked at several positions gaining a large experience in organization and event management.

Her room is D-203, where she will be available from Monday through Thursday, Friday only in exceptional cases. Welcome Carina Volkmer!

OPENREQ: 4.6 Million Euro funded EU Research Project


We are happy to announce that the OPENREQ project just received a 4.6 million Euro funding from the European Commission. OPENREQ focuses on Intelligent Recommendation Decision Technologies for Community-Driven Requirements Engineering. At an acceptance rate of  below 9%, the 9 partners are glad to start the 3-year research project in 2017. The project is coordinated by our research group MAST. Prof. Maalej is the coordinator and spokesperson. 

OPENREQ is an ambitious endeavour based on a cooperation of leading researchers in  the areas of recommender systems, context-aware technologies, and group decision making, requirements engineering and collaboration tools, vendors of RE and software engineering tools, large-size geographically distributed open source communities and SME’s specialised in open source solutions and dynamics of open source communities.

The overall vision of the project is to provide core-technologies for future requirements engineering environments that help to achieve the major goals of significantly increased development productivity, improved software quality, and reduced overall investments needed for software projects.

OPENREQ will develop novel context-aware requirements engineering approaches especially in large and distributed software projects, where the scale and complexity of alternatives outstrips the capability of stakeholders to survey them and make individual or group decisions. In such projects, the requirements from feedback of large user communities and stakeholders spread over different locations must be identified and taken into account in an intelligent fashion in order to be able to develop only relevant functionalities in a cost-efficient way and in the needed quality.

MINTernational Practice Award


In February our M-Lab teaching project for master students won the MINTernational Practice competition.

On the 13th of October Prof. Walid Maalej and Daniel Martens were invited to the awards ceremony at the Umweltforum in Berlin. This ceremony was part of a conference organized by Stifterverband (Donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany) on the internationalization of science and technology.

With M-Lab Global the University of Hamburg was officially awarded for the efforts in the internationalization of practical teaching. With the funding support of the MINTernational award we already established a first global collaboration with partners from the University of Bari (Italy) and the University of Pennsylvania (USA). You can get an impression of the event in this video statement by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler AG.

Interview with Daniel Martens in UHH Newsletter (German)


Our research associate and doctoral candidate Daniel Martens was recently interviewed for the column “Was macht eigentlich …?” (English: “What is he or she doing actually…?”) of the newsletter of the University of Hamburg. The column appears monthly and gets accessed by thousands of readers. It typically includes a 1-2 interviews with professors and senior staff. Ph.D. students are interviewed only rarely.

Daniel Martens talked about his current research interests and activities, his favorite places and activities at the university, and a mobile application he is developing together with 6 universities and the Local Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (German: Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung, Short: BWFG).

The complete interview (in German) can be read here.

Radio interview about informatics and SCAn (in German)


The Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) has interviewed Prof. Maalej and Marlo Häring in the context of the BredowCast series about software engineering, the impact of informatics on society, and interdisciplinary collaboration between informatics and other fields, such as our project SCAn (Systematic Content Analysis for Journalism).

After introducing our research area, we chatted about the status and plans of the SCAn project. Manual moderation of user comments in online journalism is time-consuming. Most of the research and automated tools currently focus on filtering “bad” comments. In SCAn we would like to identify high-quality comments. By interviewing moderators and editors of online news sites, we identified and analyzed the current problems in dealing with user comments. Based on the interviews we developed a prototype with a few core features that we now focus on in our research (e.g. identifying pro/contra arguments and quality of comments).