(Last update: November, 2017)

I research the intersections of Software Engineering and Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW).

Current Research Projects

Supporting contributions to Open Source Software – Software is in great demand but new professionals lack practical experience and applied knowledge to cope with the increasing complexity of the software systems and are in insufficient number to cope with the high demand. At the same time, open-source software projects, such as Firefox, Linux, LibreOffice, etc., has a large number of users and are openly developed in distributed platforms, accepting contributions from volunteers from all over the world. Many OSS projects need newcomer developers for their sustainability and diversity of ideas. Contributing to these projects is a great learning opportunity for professional developers, undergraduate students, and non-technical people. In this project, we investigate how to support the entrance of newcomers to the projects, how to organize tasks and skills, how to devise learning trajectories, how to use previous tasks as worked examples, how to support minorities, how to mentor and motivate new developers, etc. With this effort, we also aim at promoting sustainable open-source software development communities to keep delivering the important pieces of software that boost current economy.

Chatbots for helping tourists is a smart city – Tourists need on-demand information from multiple and heterogeneous sources to make decisions about what to do when visiting a new place. Smart cities increase the amount of available data and services but tourists usually do not want to spend time understanding the data structures and the graphical user interfaces. Advances in artificial intelligence has enabled the development of conversational agents to talk to users in chat tools to offer data and service, what is promising for this scenario. Therefore, in this project, we investigate a novel approach for designing chatbots to help tourists, in particular, to the Flagstaff area. Users will be able to ask questions to the chatbots using a regular messaging tool, such as Facebook messenger.

Other projects: Gamification to promote engagement in online communities (Ana Paula's PhD), supporting programming learning (Yorah's PhD)

Research Approach

    In general, I adopt the following approaches as a researcher:

    • Pragmatism – I use whatever method/approach I think most suitable for the problem and context at hand. I have used mixed quantitative and qualitative techniques and numerous methods, such as case study, experiment, action research, grounded theory, systematic review, etc.
    • Engineering – I like to view real-world classes of problems from an engineering perspective and develop tools and applications for them. I spend a lot of time reflecting and designing solutions.
    • Innovation – I love to do things differently and I thrive on new ideas.
    • Quality – I pursue quality in everything I do.
    • Multiple-areas – I have many interests and a passion for exploring new areas, and deal with the consequent dissonance that reveals many problems and opportunities and creates a flow of ideas. I like to bridge and interconnect different knowledge domains.

    Previous projects / research lines

    • A component-based product line approach for developing collaborative systems (Groupware Workbench project)
    • Arquigrafia and Smart Audio projects
    • Smart Cities support (project funded by HP)
    • A web-based tool for mining software repositories (Metric Miner project)
    • Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
    • Collective intelligence and Web 2.0 data analysis
    • The 3C Collaboration Model
    • Asynchronous computer mediated communication (CMC)
    • Awareness in collaborative systems

    For more details, check the publications page.