Prof. Licia Capra

Professor of Pervasive Computing

Pervasive Computing


Licia Capra is Professor of Pervasive Computing in the Dept. of Computer Science at University College London. She conducts research in the area of computational social science, investigating how new technology is changing society, and also how society is appropriating and shaping such new technology. Licia has 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. She has conducted pioneering research in analysing 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 wellbeing, and to help regulate novel markets.



  • 2007: PGCLTHE University College London, London. (Learning and Teaching in HE)
  • 2003: Ph.D. University College London, London. (Computer Science)
  • 1993: M.Eng. University of Bologna, Italy. (Computer Science)



Since October 2015, Licia Capra has been Professor of Pervasive Computing in the Dept. of Computer Science at University College London, having taken her first lectureship within the same department in April 2005. Between October 2003 and March 2005, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Software Systems Engineering Group at UCL/CS, having completed a PhD within the same group in September 2003.

Licia Capra’s research has received funding in excess of £3M from the EPSRC, the EU, industry and charities. Between 2012 and 2018 she has been co-director of the Intel Centre on Sustainable Connected Cities, an interdisciplinary industry/academic collaboration investigating IoT technology, data sensing, social media, novel physical computing and in-situ visualisations, to reflect upon, and enhance, citizens’ experiences in the urban environment. Licia has an h-index of 48 (source: Google Scholar, Dec 2019), with more than 100 refereed publications in highly impactful venues, including ACM CSCW, CHI, KDD, TIST, TOIT, WWW, SIGIR.

From April 2018 to September 2019 she has been the Departmental Tutor / Director of Studies for UCL/CS, overseeing the delivery of 3 UG programmes, 12 PG programmes, and the student experience of ~1,200 taught students.



  1. C. Smith-Clarke, A. Mashhadi and L. Capra. "Poverty on the Cheap: Estimating Poverty Maps Using Aggregated Mobile Communication Networks". In 32nd ACM SIGCHI. Toronto, Canada. April 2014
  2. C. Smith-Clarke and L. Capra. "Beyond the baseline: Establishing the value in mobile phone based poverty estimates". In 25th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2016). Montreal, Canada. April 2016
  3. G. Quattrone, D. Proserpio, D. Quercia, L. Capra and M. Musolesi. "Who benefits from the “sharing” economy of Airbnb?". In 25th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2016). Montreal, Canada. April 2016.
  4. A. Venerandi, G. Quattrone and L. Capra. "A scalable method to quantify the relationship between urban form and socio-economic indexes". In EPJ Data Science. 2018.
  5. V. Koh, W. Li, G. Livan and L. Capra. "Offline Biases in Online Platforms: a Study of Diversity and Homophily in Airbnb". In EPJ Data Science. 2019.


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