About Me

I am Professor of Software Engineering at the Department of Computer Science of University College London (UCL).
I lead the Software Optimisation Learning and Analytics Research (SOLAR) group, which I have established in 2019 and currently consists of 14 members (6 PhD students, 5 postdoctoral researchers, 3 academics).
From 2014 to 2018 I led the UCL App Store Analysis (UCLappA) research team (comprising 4 academics, 1 postdoctoral researcher, 2 PhD students). UCLappA has been the first group in the UK (and one of the first internationally) working on App Store Analysis for SE. The research outcome of UCLAppA has led to the creation of the Appredict Ltd. spin out, which I currently direct.
I am also memeber of the CREST research centre and Systems and Software Engineering group at UCL.

Research Leadership, Publications, Awards & Funding

My research interests include Predictive Analytics for Software Engineering (SE), Empirical SE and Search-Based SE, with a focus on software project managment, software measures, software testing, and app stores analytics.
I have led both national and international research collaborations working with over 40 different co-authors and 20 institutions worldwide, and also hosted 26 international researchers at UCL.
I have co-authored more than 70 papers on these topics and published in the most prestigious SE venues (e.g., ICSE, FSE, TSE, TOSEM) and received several international awards, including the ACM Distinguised paper award at FSE'19, the GECCO-HUMIES medal awarded for the human-competitive results achieved with my work on multi-objective effort estimation, and the ACM Distinguished Reviewer Award at ICSE'18.
I am currently manager and Co-PI of the EPIC ERC grant (value €2,159,03). From 2013 to 2017 I was the lead researcher for the predictive modelling theme of the large EPSRC Programme Grant Dynamic Adaptive Automated Software Engineering (DAASE). This was a £6.8m project consisting of 5 UK institutions and 4 themes, so I basically lead a ≃£1.7m research effort, coordinating the work of 5 researchers and 3 PhDs that resulted in 17 publications and 3 international awards. I also attained 80,000 in funding from the Microsoft Azure Research Programme from 2016-2018.

Peer Esteem

I have been an active member of both the software engineering and evolutionary computation communites.
I have been elected (by the community) in the Steering Committee for the International Symposium on Search-Based Software Engineering (SSBSE) in 2015, and in in the Steering Committe for the IEEE International Conference on Program Comprehension in 2019. I also have been the Chair of the SSBSE Steering Committee since 2017 and a member of the ESEM Steering Committe since 2019.
I have been Program Chair of ICSME'21, ESEM'20, ICPC'19, GECCO’18, GECCO’17, SSBSE’16, Track Chair for several international SE conferences (e.g., ICSE'21, FSE'20, RE'19), and organiser of the first three editions of the International Workshop on Mobile App Markets (WAMA) co-located with FSE in 2016, 2017, 2019. Over the last four years I have served on more than 60 Program Committees (including ICSE, FSE, ASE, ISSTA, ESEM, GECCO) and the Program Board of ICSE'20.
I have been an Associate Editor for the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering (TOSEM), the Empirical Software Engineering (ESEM) journal and ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization (TELO), the IET Software journal and the IEEE Software blog, and a Guest Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation and the Information and Software Technology journal. I am Editorial Board member of the Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines journal.
I have been invited to examine PhD students from various institutions in the UK as well as abroad.

Departmental Leadership and Teaching Activities

I am the Director of Study of the MSc in Computer Science (CS) at University College London.
I teach two courses for the BSc Computer Science and MSc Software System Engineering programmmes at UCL (see more here ) and I mentor several BSc/MSc students for their final projects every year.
I contribute to advancing equality, diversity and inclusivity as a member of out@UCL and as an organiser of inclusion events at international conferences.


E-mail: f.sarro at ucl.ac.uk
Address: Department of Computer Science, University College London, 66-72 Gower Street, WC1E 6EA, London