People of ACM European Chapters - Carlos Costa

October 24, 2017

Can you briefly describe your own line of research and how you became interested in this area?

My main research interests include corporate systems usability, pervasive systems, information systems integration, business analytics, free and open source adoption and programming learning.  I am also especially interested in new ways of producing and marketing software, especially in the context of the free and open source software movement.

In your area of research, what recent advance/emerging subfield will yield important advances in the years ahead?

In my research, I analyze the impact of gamification in several contexts, such as in programming learning, software development, and e-commerce. We found that the incorporation of gamification on information systems has a positive impact on its usage, allowing users to improve its level of engagement.

During the last 15 years, I have also been conducting research in business analytics in industries such as banking and aviation. Recently, my research has focused on the connection between business analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). This connection may contribute to significant advances in fields such as digital transformation and autonomous driving.

In programming learning, results from research suggest that gamification and tangibility (such as use of artifacts like robots) may help to improve the learning process, especially in the short term.

Can you tell us a little about the ACM Student Chapter at ISCTE-IUL?

The chapter has 50 members, including Bachelor, Master’s and PhD students. The most important activities are Smart Talks, Smart Classes, Smart Events and Smart MOOCs. Smart Talks are talks given by practitioners in the field. Smart Classes are lectures given by professors. Smart Events are events with specific subjects (e.g. Arduino, Linux) involving several speakers and eventually also demos and workshops. Our Student Chapter was responsible for the organization of the Arduino Day 2017, and of the Code Week in 2016. Smart MOOC is a project developed by a PhD student using the ISCTE-IUL ACM Student Chapter as host. Later, a small introductory course of programming was developed.

The ACM Student Chapter is also involved in several activities like ACM ISDOC, promoted by EuroSIGDOC; FISTA, the Forum of ISCTE-IUL School of Technology and Architecture; European Researchers’ Night; and Robotic Competitions. 

Why is participating in an ACM Student Chapter beneficial for young people?

Participating in an ACM Student Chapter has many advantages for young people, including the possibility of making international contacts, access to research, and the possibility of using an international trademark to develop activities. However, above all, the main benefit of participating in an ACM Student Chapter is developing soft skills, as the students may learn how to better communicate, work in teams, and organize events.

Carlos J. Costa is Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. Formerly, he worked at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) for 24 years. At ISCTE-IUL he was the director of the Adetti-IUL Research Centre, led the Information Systems Research Group, and was the director of the Free and Open Source Software Master Program. A member of ACM since 2006, in 2008 he organized the ACM SIGDOC 2008 conference in Lisbon. Later, in 2010, he co-founded the ACM SIGDOC European Chapter EuroSIGDOC.

In 2014, Costa motivated some students from ISCTE-IUL to start a Student Chapter, and later became the chapter’s faculty advisor.