Queen's University

Dr. Ahmed E. Hassan

Professor, Research Chair, School of Computing
LinkedIn profile for Dr. Ahmed E. Hassan


I am a Professor in the School of Computing at Queen's University. I earned my PhD, MMath, and BMath degrees from the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. At Queen's, I lead the Software Analysis and Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and I was the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Software Analytics, as well as the NSERC/BlackBerry Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering for Ultra Large Scale systems. My industrial experience includes helping architect the Blackberry wireless platform at RIM\BlackBerry, working for IBM Research at the Almaden Research Lab, and for the Computer Research Lab at Nortel Networks. I am the named inventor of patents at several jurisdictions around the world including the United States, Europe, India, Canada, and Japan, and I spearheaded the organization and creation of the Mining Software Repositories (MSR) conference and its research community. I have also co-edited special issues of the IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering, and the Journal of Empirical Software Engineering on the MSR topic.

My research interests lie at the intersection of systems and software engineering. Research at SAIL encompasses many areas of computer science including mining software repositories such as Concurrent Versions Systems (CVS), software evolution and architecture, performance engineering, capacity engineering, and debugging and monitoring of distributed systems. SAIL is funded through support from BlackBerry, the Quuen's School of Computing, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE), the Ontario Research Fund, and the NSERC Chairs program. At SAIL, my students and I are actively investigating approaches and creating techniques to support practitioners who are producing, maintaining, and evolving large scale complex software systems. We aim to make the lives of these practitioners more productive, more cheerful, and more predictable. Early tools and techniques developed by my team are already integrated into products used by millions of users worldwide.

[photos by Martin Lipman/NSERC]

Most Recent Project

An Empirical Study of Game Reviews on the Steam Platform

Log: SteamThe steadily increasing popularity of computer games has led to the rise of a multi-billion dollar industry. Due to the scale of the computer game industry, developing a successful game is challenging. In addition, prior studies show that gamers are extremely hard to please, making the quality of games an important issue. Most online game stores allow users to review a game that they bought. Such reviews can make or break a game, as other potential buyers often base their purchasing decisions on the reviews of a game. Hence, studying game reviews can help game developers better understand user concerns and further improve the user-perceived quality of games.

In this paper, we perform an empirical study of the reviews of 6,224 games on the Steam platform, one of the most popular digital game delivery platforms, to better understand if game reviews share similar characteristics with mobile app reviews, and thereby understand whether the conclusions and tools from mobile app review studies can be leveraged by game developers.

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Other Projects

  • What do developers search for on the web?

    Title page: project entitled "What do developers search for on the web?" by Queen's researcher Ahmed E. HassanDevelopers commonly make use of web search engines such as Google to locate online resources to improve their productivity. A better understanding of what developers search for could help us understand their behaviors and the problems that they meet during the software development process. Unfortunately, we have a limited understanding of what developers frequently search for and of the search tasks that they often find challenging.

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