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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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MOBIS wins competition for best teaching project

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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.

Prof. Dr. Maalej – Presentation in the “Alumni”-Magazine

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A short presentation of Prof. Dr. Maalej and his work was recently published in the “Alumni UHH-Magazin”, Edition 2016. 

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WHAT IS INFORMATICS – A TRIAL WEEK

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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

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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.

Alexander Oeser has successfully presented his student project at Expo 2016

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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)

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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

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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!