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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).

Eclipse Hackathon in Hamburg


On Thursday the 21st of July at 17:30, the Eclipse Hackathon takes place in Hamburg (Rosenstraße 17). In this event, you can join the Eclipse community to help improving Eclipse. No previous Eclipse development knowledge is required. Attendees can hack away with the help of experienced Eclipse developers and can help to improve the Eclipse platform and its projects. In this event you can learn how to help Eclipse by:

– work on the Eclipse source code
– test new features in the Eclipse IDE
– validate or open new Eclipse bug reports

Everybody is invited to join and have some pizza and drinks. So, bring your laptop and be ready to see some code!

Stellenausschreibung: Fremdsprachliche Teamassist/In


Wir suchen eine Besetzung für eine unbefristete Stelle im Bereich administratives Management, Organisation und Sekretariat (TV-L 9) zur Verstärkung unseres jungen, dynamischen und internationalen Teams. Hier finden Sie die volle Stellenausschreibung.

Bewerbungsfrist: 22.06.2016.



Information Event for Teaching Project: M-Lab


On the upcoming Wednesday (08.06.) in Room G-021, we will host an information event about our teaching project M-Lab, offered for bachelor and master students. We are going to answer all your questions and show you project results of previous courses.

In this “lighthouse project”, student teams will develop real innovative Apps for real customers from industry, under real project conditions, and use the newest technology.


Please share this information with your colleagues!

What:   M-Lab information event
Date:    Wednesday (08.06.)
Time:   11:45 – 12:30
Where: Room G-021 / G-022


MOBIS’s new identity: Applied Software Technology (MAST)


With the new tenured professorship of Walid Maalej, our group gets a new identity: Applied Software Technology. The group name is changing from MOBIS to MAST. We now moved to our new offices on the same campus in House D (1st floor left side). All offices (numbered D-202 to D217) are now adjacent. The office of Prof. Maalej is D-204. As part of the new infrastructure, we have a new meeting room / lounge for globally distributed meetings, and a media room. You can find the new plan with the room assignments below. We look forward to welcome our students, collaborators, and visitors in our new offices.

new roomplan

Master project M-Lab of Prof. Maalej wins teaching competitions twice in a row


M-Lab, the teaching project for master students offered by the Applied Software Technology team (Prof. Maalej) won the competition MINTernational.

In this competition, the Federation of German NGOs (Stifterverband) honors universities, which support the internationalization of teaching through practical experience in the fields of Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (MINT).
Prof. Maalej and his team represented the University of Hamburg with the concept „M-Lab Global: the international learning and innovation lab for mobile apps“ and won the competition.

„The winners developed the best strategies to promote the internationalization in their universities through practical experience“ says the Stifterverband. (Press release in German)
The jury formed by representatives from academia and industry and head by the president of the Leibniz Society Prof. Kleiner selected 6 projects from more than 50 university applications. M-Lab Global is one of them.

In M-Lab student teams develop real innovative apps for real „customers” from industry, under real project conditions and using the newest technology. Students learn the key concepts of software engineering and make valuable experiences in teamwork, project management, and communication with customer. This format will now be globalized through distributed projects and competitions with international university and industry partners.

This distinction comes only a few weeks after M-Lab has been honored in the program „For our universities” of the Claussen Simon Foundation in corporation with the ministry of higher education of Hamburg. 

In total there is 120.000 EUR from both prices given by the Claussen-Simon Foundation, the Stifterverband, the Daimler und Benz Foundation and the Daimler-Fonds.

Prof. Novielli visit and public talk


Prof. Nicole Novielli, Ph.D. is visiting our research group to enhance the research collaboration and give a talk on emotional awareness in software engineering. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bari, Italy. Her expertise is in Affective Computing. Since 2006, her research is on human factors and emotions in natural language interaction. Prof. Novielli and Prof. Maalej are co-organizing a ICSE workshop this year on Emotional Awareness in Software Engineering.

We are glad to invite you to the talk of Prof. Novielli:

Title of talk:
The Challenges of Affect Detection in the Social Programmer Ecosystem

Date and Time: Monday, 25th January 2016 at 17:15 PM

Place: Informatikum, Room D-125 Vogt-Kölln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg

Software engineering involves a large amount of social interaction, as programmers often need to cooperate with others, whether directly or indirectly. However, we have become fully aware of the importance of social aspects in software engineering activities only over the last decade. In fact, it was not until the recent diffusion and massive adoption of social media that we could witness the rise of the “social programmer” and the surrounding ecosystem. Social media has deeply influenced the design of software development-oriented tools such as GitHub (i.e., a social coding site) and Stack Overflow (i.e., a community-based question answering site). Stack Overflow, in particular, is an example of an online community where social programmers do networking by reading and answering others’ questions, thus participating in the creation and diffusion of crowdsourced knowledge and software documentation.

One of the biggest drawbacks of computer-mediated communication is to appropriately convey sentiment through text. While display rules for emotions exist and are widely accepted for interaction in traditional face-to-face communication, web users are not necessarily prepared for effectively dealing with the social media barriers to non-verbal communication. Thus, the design of systems and mechanisms for the development of emotional awareness between communicators is an important technical and social challenge for research related to computer-supported collaboration and social computing.

As a consequence, a recent research trend has emerged to study the role of affect in the social programmer ecosystem, by applying sentiment analysis to the content available in sites such as GitHub and Stack Overflow, as well as in other asynchronous communication artifacts such as comments in issue tracking systems. This talk surveys the state-of-the-art in sentiment analysis tools and examines to what extent they are able to detect affective expressions in communication traces left by software developers. A discussion is offered about the advantages and limitations of choosing sentiment polarity and strength as an appropriate way to operationalize affective states in empirical studies. Finally, open challenges and opportunities of affective software engineering are discussed, with special focus on the need to combine cognitive emotion modeling with affective computing and natural language processing techniques to build large-scale, robust approaches for sentiment detection in software engineering.

Our students in the Audi App Challenge


The car manufacturer Audi is organizing an App challenge for student teams of different universities across Europe. Each team should develop an app based on Android Auto or proprietary Audi interfaces in order to integrate the vehicle into the digital network of the user.

Within our teaching project M-Lab, one team consisting of 5 students participate in this app event. The student team will design, develop, and test an app idea within one semester based on the popular “Design Thinking” method. Thereby the teams have exclusive access to the vehicle data.

María Gómez is visiting MOBIS


María Gómez from the research center INRIA in France. is visiting our group for extended stay during 2016 (~ 4months). She is collaborating with us on a project, which aims at providing self-healing capabilities into mobile apps by using crowdsourcing approaches. We are very glad to have her with us.

María Gómez is a PhD student in computer science working with the SPIRALS team at INRIA Lille – Nord Europe research center. She is currently interested in self-healing in mobile computing. Her research focuses on the repair of mobile applications in the wild using crowdsourcing.

Rebecca Tiarks successfully defended her Ph.D.


We are glad to invite you to the defense of Rebecca Tiarks as a part of the doctoral procedure. Mrs Tiarks will be the first doctoral student of the MOBIS research group completing the PhD program.

Title of the doctoral thesis:
How-To Software Knowledge

Date and Time: Tuesday, 29th September 2015 at 10:00 AM

Place: Informatikum, Room D-220 Vogt-Kölln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg




Rebecca Tiarks has successfully passed her oral exam

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Software development is a knowledge-intensive task. Developers spent time exploring new technologies or unfamiliar source code. They have to decide which parts of these technologies or code are relevant to their current task, what kind of actions they want to take, and which information they need in their current context. During this process developers produce and consume different types of knowledge. One important type is the so called how-to knowledge that describes instructions and actions to perform a specific task or solve a specific problem. This dissertation empirically analyzes the role of how-to knowledge in software development, how it is represented, and how developers employ this kind of knowledge during the development process. Based on the results of the empirical studies we develop a model for how-to knowledge that captures the aspects of how-to knowledge and can be used to to describe, extract and externalize how-to knowledge. We further introduce our framework DELIAS for the extraction of how-to knowledge from developers’ interaction during the development process in a semi-automatic way. Our framework observes developer interactions and translates them to human readable instructions in form of how-to knowledge. We implemented the framework to show the applicability of our model. For evaluation purposes we conducted a second- ary data analyses and an interview to evaluate the effectiveness and applicability of our approach. Our approach provides an easy way to capture and externalize how-to knowledge during the development process. Our results show that DELIAS is able to extract the relevant steps for a tutorial and that there is need for tools that support the generation of tutorials.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej
Other members of the thesis committee: Prof. Dr. Tilo Böhmann, Prof. Romain Robbes, Ph.D.

Date the Science


Prof. Maalej participated this year in the initiative Date the Science in Hamburg. He “dated” about 80 young and curious high-school students and talked with them about “Social Informatics”.

15 scientists from 5 different Universities in Hamburg offered for high school students insights into their research topics and daily work. The research topics were diverse focusing on Natural Sciences, Technology, and Engineering. This date should motivate young students to study Science and Engineering and help them pick up the right major.

This year the 5th date with scientists was organized at the Helmut-Schmidt-Univeristy.  The event is part of a larger initiative of all universities and the city of Hamburg since 2007 to get young students enthusiastic about Science, Technology and Engineering and increase the number of university students in these fields. The online portal for this initiative is called MINTSTUDIUM.HAMBURG.

More about the event can be found on the following links (in German)

date_aula-162 photo 1