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Since October 2015, I am Professor of Pervasive Computing in the Dept. of Computer Science at University College London. I first joined UCL in May 2000 as a Research Assistant, and then as a Ph.D. student (from September 2000 until September 2003). From October 2003 until March 2005, I have been a Research Fellow in the Software Systems Engineering Group at UCL/CS, working on the TAPAS European project. I then took on a Lectureship within the same department in April 2005. Before coming to England, I was an undergraduate student in the Dipartimento di Informatica at the University of Bologna, Italy.

Curiosity - See my academic genealogy


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE), Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, University College London, London UK. Awarded: September 2007.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Dept. of Computer Science, University College London, London UK. Thesis title: "Reflective Mobile Middleware for Context-Aware Applications". Supervisor: Prof. Wolfgang Emmerich, University College London, London, UK. Awarded: October 2003
  • Laurea Degree (comparable to a British MSc) in Computer Science (summa cum laude), Dipartimento di Informatica, University of Bologna, Italy. Dissertation title: "The Problem of Dimensionality Curse in Multi-dimensional Databases" (in Italian). Supervisor: Prof. Paolo Ciaccia, Facolta di Ingegneria, University of Bologna, Italy. Awarded: March 2000.

Research Interests

My general research area is computational social science, an area at the crossing of computer science, data science and social science, where fundamental social science problems are being investigated using data-driven computational thinking and methods. More precisely, I investigate how new technology is changing society, and also how society is appropriating and shaping such new technology. I have specific expertise and interest in urban informatics, investigating how to extract knowledge from a variety of data sources to better understand the functioning of cities, and to develop technologies and interventions aimed at improving life of citizens. I have analysed a broad variety of big datasets, including public transport data, telecommunication data, social media data, and crowd-sourced data, in order to model cities’ and citizens’ dynamics. These models have been used, for example, to build personalised travellers’ services, to estimate cities’ economic well-being, and to help regulate novel markets.

Invited Talks

  • "Geo-AI". Invited panelist at GISRUK 2020 online (22nd July 2020).
  • "Data-driven urban planning and policy-making". Invited talk at LIRIS, INSA de Lyon, France. (January 2018).
  • "Data-driven urban planning and policy-making". Invited talk at AMS Seminar on Urban Data Science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (December 2017).
  • "Discrimination by Algorithm ... or by People?". Keynote talk at 9th International Conference on Social Informatics, Oxford, UK (September 2017).
  • "Data-driven Urban Planning and Policy Making: Opportunities and Challenges". Keynote talk at the 2nd EAI International Conference on IoT in Urban Space, Tokyo Japan. (May 2016).
  • "Government Processes and Machine Decisions". Invited talk at the Nesta workshop on `Algorithm-Supported Decision-Making in Government'. London UK (February 2016).
  • "Urban Computing - Examples for Evidence-based Policy-making". Invited talk at Toshiba Research Europe, Bristol (November 2015).
  • "Quantifying bias in collective intelligence platforms". Invited talk for the "At the roots of collective intelligence" event, Nesta UK (October 2015)
  • "Mind the Map: Modelling Sustainability of Urban Crowd-Sourcing". Invited talk at Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University (May 2013), and School of Computer Science, Nottingham University (Sep 2013).
  • "Fingers on The Pulse: Mining Urban Movement Data to Inform Smart City Planning". Advanced Distinguished Lecture (ADL) at China Computer Federation (CCF). Beijing, China. August 2012.
  • "Middleware for Social Computing: A Roadmap". Invited talk and paper at 12th International Middleware Conference, special event on “The Future of Middleware” (FOME 2011). Lisboa, Portugal
  • "Mining Public Transport Usage For Personalised Intelligent Transport Systems". Invited talk at the 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL Intl. Workshop on Location-Based Social Networks (LBSN 2011). Chicago, Illinois, USA. Nov 2011.
  • "Self-Adaptation of Online Recommender Systems via Feed-Forward Controllers". Invited talk at the Workshop on Self-Awareness in Computing. University of Birmingham, UK. June 2011.
  • “Social Ranking: Philosophy, Realisations and Performance Analysis”. Invited seminar at the Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, UK. May 2009
  • “Social Ranking: Philosophy, Realisations and Performance Analysis”. Invited seminar at the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck University, London, UK. January 2009
  • “Trust in Pervasive Social Networks”, Keynote Talk at the 7th ACM Workshop on Adaptive and Reflective Middleware (ARM08). Leuven, Belgium. December 2008 [see slides on slideshare]
  • “Selecting Trustworthy Content Using Tags”. Invited paper and talk at SECRYPT, Special Session on Trust in Pervasive Systems and Networks. Porto, Portugal. July 2008
  • “Social Filtering for Robust Recommendations”.  Invited seminar at the Department of Computing, Lancaster University, Lancaster. May 2008
  • “Reflective Mobile Middleware for Context-Aware Applications”. Invited talk at at NTT DoCoMo, Tokyo, Japan. November 2001

Scholarly Service

I serve on the editorial board of the following journals:

I have co-organised the following events:

  • International Workshop on Geographic Human-Computer Interaction (GeoHCI 2013). Organisers: Brent Hecht, Johannes Schöning, Muki Haklay, Licia Capra, Afra J. Mashhadi, Loren Terveen,  Mei-Po Kwan. Co-located with CHI 2013. [Website
  • International Workshop on Personalization in Mobile Applications (PeMA 2011). Organisers: N. Lathia, D. Quercia, L. Capra and J. Crowcroft. Co-located with RecSys 2011 [Website]
  • International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility (SAM 2008). Organisers: L. Capra, R. Bahsoon, W. Emmerich and M. E. Fayad. Co-located with ICSE. May 2008. [Workshop Summary] [Workshop Proceedings]
  • International Workshop on Trust in Mobile Environments (TIME 2008). Organisers: L. Capra and I. Wakeman. Co-located with IFIPTM 08 - Joint iTrust and PST Conference. June 2008. [Workshop Proceedings]

I have been guest editor for the following journals:

  • ACM Transaction on Intelligent Systems and Technology (ACM TIST) - special issue on Urban Computing.

I have acted as reviewer for the following journals, conferences and workshops:

  • IEEE Distributed Systems Online;
  • IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS);
  • Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing Journal (PMC);
  • ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT);
  • ACM Mobile Computing and Communications Review (MC2R);
  • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics;
  • IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE);
  • Elsevier Data & Knowledge Engineering (DKE);
  • ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM);
  • The Web Conference (WWW 2018);
  • Software Engineering in Society (ICSE2018-SEIS);
  • ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017, 2018);
  • ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018);
  • International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2016, 2017, 2018);
  • AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, 2021);
  • ICSE Vision of 2025 and Beyond (V2025);
  • IEEE International Conference on Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing (UIC 2015);
  • New Ideas and Emerging Results (NIER) @ FSE (FSE-NIER 2015);
  • International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2015);
  • International Workshop on Crowd Assisted Sensing, Pervasive Systems and Communications (CASPer 2016, 2015);
  • International Conference on IoT in Urban Space (Urb-IoT 2014, 2016);
  • ACM International Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2014, 2017);
  • International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services (Mobiquitous 2014);
  • ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci 2014);
  • International Workshop on Crowdsensing Methods, Techniques, and Applications (CrowdSensing 2014);
  • International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services (MobiCASE 2013);
  • CityLab Workshop, in conjunction with ICWSM 2016;
  • International Workshop on Citizen Sensor Networks (CitiSen 2013);
  • International Workshop on Middleware for Pervasive Systems (MiPS) @ ICDCN 2013;
  • International Workshop on Context-Aware Recommender Systems (CARS), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Personalization in Mobile Applications (PeMA), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Recommendation Utility Evaluation (RUE), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Urban Computing (UrbComp 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), in conjunction with KDD;
  • International Workshop on When the City Meets the Citizen Workshop (WCMCW), in conjunction with ICWSM 2012;
  • International Workshop on recent advances in behavior prediction and pro-active pervasive computing (AwareCast), in conjunction with PERVASIVE 2012;
  • International Workshop on Social Connections in the Urban Space (SocialUrb-2011);
  • ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Location-Based Social Networks (LBSN 2013, 2012, 2011);
  • International Workshop on Social Service Computing, in conjunction with the International Conference on Service Oriented Computing  (SSC 2011);
  • International Workshop on Novelty and Diversity in Recommender Systems, in conjuction with RecSys (DiveRS 2011);
  • ACM International Symposium on Performance Evaluation of Wireless Ad Hoc, Sensor, and Ubiquitous Networks (PE-WASUN 2011);
  • Workshop on Pervasive Urban Applications (PURBA 2011-2015);
  • European Software Engineering Conference and ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2011);
  • Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2011) - Mobile Web Track;
  • International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST 2010);
  • New Ideas and Emerging Results Track @ ICSE (NIER 2010);
  • International Workshop on Communication, Collaboration and Social Networking in Pervasive Computing Environments @ PerCom (PerCol 2010, 2014);
  • International Conference on Software and Data Technologies (ICSOFT 2009);
  • International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility (SAM) at ICSE 2009;
  • International Conference on Trust Management (IFIPTM 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012);
  • International Workshop on Adaptive & Reflective Middleware (ARM 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012);
  • Doctoral Symposium @ Middleware 2008;
  • Software Architectures for Pervasive Systems, Special Session at EUROMICRO 2008;
  • International DisCoTec Workshop on Context-aware Adaptation Mechanisms for Pervasive and Ubiquitous Services (CAMPUS 2010, 2009 and 2008);
  • 1st International Workshop on Ad-hoc Ambient Computing, co-located with AD HOC NOW 2008;
  • IADIS International Conference on Wireless Applications and Computing (WAC 2008, 2007);
  • 4th International Workshop of Web and Mobile Information Services (WAMIS 2008, 2007);
  • Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (ACM SAC 2008, 2007, 2006) UbiComp track;
  • International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies (SECURWARE 2008, 2007);
  • International Workshop on the Value of Security through Collaboration (SeCoVal 2007, 2006);
  • International Workshop on Reliability in Decentralized Distributed Systems (RDDS 2008, 2007, 2006)
  • IADIS International Conference on Applied Computing (AC 2007, 2006);
  • London Communications Symposium (LCS 2006);
  • International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA 2006);
  • Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICCS-40) - Automated Software Testing and Analysis track;
  • 1st IEEE International Workshop on MIDdleware for mobile Ad hoc and Sensor networks (MIDAS06);
  • IEEE International Conference on Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous, and Trustworthy Computing (SUTC2006);
  • 28th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2006) Doctoral Symposium;
  • 27th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2005) Research Demo Track;
  • Software Engineering and Middleware (SEM 2004) - Workshop in conjunction with ASE 2004.


During my Ph.D., I have been working part-time as a software engineer for the Zuhlke Technology Group (www.zuhlke.com), participating in the development of distributed systems for financial settings. In particular, I have consulted for JP Morgan Investment Management Inc, London, UK.