Ahmed E. Hassan

Top honour for world-leading researcher

Ahmed E. Hassan named Association for Computing Machinery Fellow

Faculty of Arts and Science researcher Ahmed E. Hassan has been named an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow. ACM is the major computing association in the world.

The ACM Fellows program recognizes the top one per cent of ACM Members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community. Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a distinguished selection committee.

For more than 20 years, School of Computing professor, Dr. Hassan has focused on improving the productivity of software practitioners and on improving the quality of software systems, especially very large-scale ones – like Google, Facebook, and Twitter-scale systems. These ultra-large-scale systems bring unprecedented complexities and challenges, and such challenges keep on increasing exponentially every year as society’s dependence on computing keeps on rising.

“It is a very honourable recognition to be an ACM Fellow,” says Dr. Hassan. “As a grad student and even as a senior professor, I always held the highest respect for ACM and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellows. You can say they are a computer scientist ‘s version of NHL players or rock stars.

“While an ACM fellowship recognizes a fellow’s continuous and tremendous impact, I find quite often the fellowship recognition energizes fellows to rise to a much higher level of impact – giving them the freedom to challenge themselves and their own research communities even further, bringing even more positive impact on computing and society.”

Very early in his career, Dr. Hassan recognized the need for automation to support software practitioners and for that, he turned to rarely used data about these systems. Such data is generated as practitioners work on these systems, or as the systems processes requests. This data is a gold mine of knowledge about these systems and if leveraged appropriately it would tremendously improve the productivity of developers and drastically improve their quality. These simple ideas led to the creation of a field called the Mining Software Repositories field (MSR).

“Today many of the MSR innovations are adopted by world leading companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google to name a few, in order to improve the quality of their systems and increase the productivity of their developers.”

Dr. Hassan says since his first day in the School of Computing and every day since then, he says he has always felt part of a caring and ever-growing family.

“This family is constantly working hard to support me and my students to really excel – always removing obstacles and opening opportunities for myself and my team. The faculty office has on many occasions shown a great can-do attitude, such an attitude has been essential in creating an outstanding research atmosphere for my SAIL Lab.

“While the fellowship recognizes me by name, the reality is that an ACM fellow is a recognition of the lifelong support of my family, the hard work of my trainees and the generous guidance of many mentors over the years. I am very fortunate to be at the School of Computing within the Faculty of Arts and Science.”

“I’m thrilled that Dr. Hassan’s contributions to the field are being recognized by this prestigious Fellowship,” says Stéfanie von Hlatky, Associate Dean (Research) “Dr. Hassan’s commitment to research excellence is translating into innovations in computing, with tangible improvements for software practitioners. He is also leading a dynamic team in support of this research program, mentoring, and training our students in the process.”

Learn more about the Fellowship on the ACM website.