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Expert for Sustainable Urban Planning from Hong Kong visits MAST


On Tuesday, September 19th, Chao REN, a renowned researcher in the field of Sustainable Urban Planning, will visit our group to extensively discuss the state and the general course of the MyKlima project, which deals with the effects of global warming, fast urbanization, and environmental stressors on the quality of life in modern cities.

Chao REN is an Associate Professor in School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interest is Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design and Urban Climatic Application in Urban Planning, focusing primarily on examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system, and analyzing urbanization-induced human thermal comfort and public health risk impacts for high-density/compact cities.

M-Lab App presented at the Press Conference of State


Hamburg’s State Minister of Science, Research and Equality Katharina Fegebank presented together with Prof. Maalej and Daniel Martens from our research department the new science app “Metropole des Wissens” at the State Press conference. The app is dedicated to all citizens interested in science. The aim of the app is to stronger connect science within the city state of Hamburg and the interested public.

The app is a success story for knowledge and technology transfer at the University of Hamburg. The initial version of the app was developed with the lighthouse-teaching project M-Lab. Within this course students develop innovative mobile apps by using the latest technology. At the beginning of the three-month course practice partners from industry, public sector, and civil institutions present the students their problem statements. The ministry for science, research and equality took part in the M-Lab course in 2015. A team of four students (Minka Halilovic, Javad Malaquti, Paul Mazgajski, and Daniel Martens)  developed the initial version of the app, which aggregates content, such as news and events, of the scientific institutions within Hamburg. At the end of the project the students presented the app to the first and second major of the city of Hamburg within the town hall.

The app and its concept received great enthusiasm. It was further developed and tested, and is from now on available for free within the Apple AppStore. Katharina Fegebank, Hamburg’s State Minister of Science, Research and Equality: „With this app… citizen can dive in digitally with one click from anywhere in the Hamburg’s science“

Prof. Maalej concludes: “the students designed the app for the future and other institutions can easily integrate their content into the app — even Germany- wide” .

Follow the link to download the app within the Apple AppStore.


Press coverage:

Hamburg Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Smart Sustainable Cities


Global warming and fast urbanization are affecting the quality of life in modern cities. Air pollution, heat, noise, and other environmental stressors are constantly harming the health and well-being of the citizens. Detailed knowledge about the environmental impacts and public resources play a significant role in a socio-ecological and sustainable city development. Our goal is to investigate whether crowdsourcing-based approaches can be used to improve urban measurement networks regarding resolution, innovative applications, and cost-efficiency.

On June 22nd, 2017, we organize the “Hamburg Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Smart Sustainable Cities” together with Dr. Dirk Bade and Dr. Benjamin Bechtel. Students from the Department of Informatics and from the Institute of Geography will come together to present and to discuss their projects.


Time Presenter Topic/Title
9:30 Prof. Dr. W. Maalej, Dr. B. Bechtel Opening and projects
  Prof. Dr. W. Maalej, Dr. B. Bechtel Stadt-Wohl-Fühlen: Partizipative Erfassung und Bewertung der Stadtumwelt mit Smartgeräten
  A. Beifuß Actitrans Project
  Y. D. Pham Architektonische Beispiele im Umgang mit klimatischen Faktoren
10:05   Session I: Sensors
  I. Friedrich Kostengünstige, stadtklimatische Sensormessnetze: GIS-basierte Analyse von Qualität, Repräsentativität und Nutzbarkeit – Fallstudien aus Hamburg und Birmingham
  T. Kraft Ein low-cost Monitoring System zur Erfassung von Luftverschmutzung
  M. Braun Erfassung von Lärmbelastung durch Fahrradfahrer mittels Sensorplattformen
  J. Honisch, M. Sheikholeslami Noisera Project
10:50   Break
11:00   Session II: Data Mining
  D. Martens On the Emotion of Users in App Reviews
  Z. Kurtanovic Mining User Rationale
  M. Sheikholeslami Adapting to User Preference Changes in Recommender Systems
11:25   Session III: Open Data
  Dr. D. Bade, J. Kalinowski Smart Data Spaces
  J. Honisch Aggregation and Analysis of Vounteered Geographic Information
  Y. Büchau Messungenauigkeiten im NETATMO-Netzwerk verstehen und korrigieren
  M. Kastner Ansätze zur Interpolation von meteorologischen raumzeitlichen Daten aus Crowdsourcing-Quellen
12:15   Discussion

We are looking forward to see many interesting talks in the research areas of  Smart Resilient City and Crowdsensing. If you are interested, please contact us  (ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@ssufieb).

When: June 22nd, 2017 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 AM 
Where: D-220



Every year the department of informatics organizes one week trail study, called “Schnupperstudium”. Interested high school students from the 10th to 13th grade can join the event on their own initiative during the school holidays.

During this week students get to learn about basics of informatics and its applications. They also “try out” how a study of computer science at the University of Hamburg looks like. From the 17th to the 21st of October 2016 several small learning projects were offered to get practical insights into computer science.

The Applied Software Technology Group (MAST) participated in this event by offering a guest lecture by Prof. Maalej and a research demonstration titled “Intelligent participative apps”, in which two current research projects were presented.

Marlo Häring presented a project about Systematic Content Analysis of User Comments for Journalists “SCAN-4”, funded by Google Computational Journalism Research Award, which is developed in cooperation with the Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research.

The open source project “TamTam” was introduced by Daniel Martens. It is an innovative crowdsourcing app that aims to raise the awareness for noise pollution among citizens and enables them to record noise measurements using their smartphones anywhere and anytime.

The taster week is always a successful and very well visited event with interesting insights and curious students.

M-Lab Kickoff Event, 22.10.2016


On Thursday, October 20th, we successfully ran the kickoff event of M-Lab with about 70 attendants. This year more than 40 students have applied for the M-Lab course with their first preference, of which 35 were admitted for the course (twice as much as in the previous M-Lab iteration).

This year, the students can choose from six highly interesting projects with practice partners from industry, society and public sector:

In their motivating speeches, the practice partners briefly introduced their organizations and the overall problem statements and project idea. In an informal part the students were able to give their impressions about the projects, ask clarification questions, and get in a first contact with “their customers”. The teams were then built one day later based on the students’ preferences and curricula.

The projects Civitas and Daimler will be globally conducted together with the University of Bari (Italy) and the University of Pennsylvania (USA). Overall 44 students participate in the M-Lab.

During the kickoff day a professional camera team of the Claussen-Simon Foundation accompanied us to create a professional trailer about M-Lab. The trailer will be shown during the award ceremony “Ausgezeichnet!” on December 2016.

Doctoral Camp 2016

Doctoral Camp 2016 Picture

Every year our research group organizes a doctoral camp. During 2-3 intensive days every doctoral candidate presents her current research activities and discusses the PhD. progress with the professor, the members of the group and 1-2 guests. As in every camp, there are also several side discussions and social events.

This year’s doctoral camp took place from 15th to 17th June 2016 in a Swedish house near a beautiful lake by Malente. Together with our guest Prof. Nicole Novielli, the MAST research group (Prof. Maalej and ten of his Ph.D. students) intensively discussed its ongoing projects on topics including Analytics, Software Documentation, Data-Driven Requirements Engineering, and Global and Collaborative Development. Besides the insightful discussions, our group has further grown together during socializing events such as BBQs, cooking, canoe trips as well as fun sessions and various sports activities. The following pictures give an impression of the three productive and rewarding days.

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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


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.

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



Best Research Paper at RE’15


Our paper “Bug Report, Feature Request, or Simply Praise? On Automatically Classifying App Reviews” authored by Walid Maalej and Hadeer Nabil has been selected at the 23rd International IEEE Requirements Engineering Conference (RE15) as Best Research Paper.

The awarded paper was a.o the result of the research visit of Hadeer Nabil and her Master thesis supervised by Prof. Maalej.

RE is the primer research conference in the field of requirements engineering. It has an acceptance rate of ~15-25% and yearly attracts 250-400 researchers and experts in the field. This year the conference took place Ottowa Canada. More information.
The most influential paper went this year to Paolo Giorgini, Fabio Massacci, John Mylopoulos and Nicola Zannone and was awarded for the Paper “Modeling security requirements through ownership, permission and delegation”

You can download our awarded Paper here.

MOBIS wins competition for best teaching project


We are proud to announce that our lighthouse teaching course for mobile app development M-Lab (here in German) won this year’s competition for the best university teaching in Hamburg within the funding program “Unseren Hochschulen 2015”. With this program, the Claussen-Simon Foundation and the Hamburg Higher Education Authority aim at promoting excellent professors and innovative teaching activities as well as increasing the collaboration between students and professors. We have been selected among the top 3 out of 300 student recommendations for professors and their teaching events.

The award ceremony ‘Ausgezeichnet!’ (eng. outstanding) took place on the 7th December 2015, where the award winners were honored and the prize money for each of the 3 winning project was announced. Our project received the highest funding (69.000 EUR). Members of MOBIS and selected students from current and past M-Lab were invited to this special dinner event.

The funding will be use for hiring more teaching assistants, improve the quality of the tutorials and seminars collocated with the M-Lab projects (e.g. with podcasts) and to develop a sustainability concept for the teaching program.