Meet your professors | Prof. Dr. Marco Lübbecke

An interview with Prof. Dr. Marco Lübbecke, Head of Chair of Operations Research and teaching professor in our M.Sc. Data Analytics and Decision Science.

Author: RWTH Business School
Published: 28.11.2018
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Prof. Dr. Marco Lübbecke

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I obtained all my university degrees in applied mathematics, more precisely in mathematical optimization. This area is one of the corner stones in operations research, a field for which RWTH Aachen University has a long standing reputation. I was happy to join the RWTH Aachen school of business and economics and the mathematics department as a full professor in 2010. Our research and teaching covers the entire spectrum from fundamental methods and theory development to industrial strength applications. I love coffee and you find me on twitter every day (@mluebbecke).

What is your role at RWTH Business School and the DDS program?

I am teaching optimization courses in the DDS program, mainly about how to model decisions. Usually, even students with a solid STEM background had previously no exposure to the idea that we can mathematically describe many planning and decision situations without losing any of the billions of options, and that there are algorithms able to produce optimal decision support. It is my role to make students acquainted with the state of the art and to demonstrate that the theoretical results are needed and useful in practice.

What do you think is special about the DDS program?

The combination of predictive and prescriptive analytics, that is, machine learning and optimization, is very strong. The hype these days is all about data analytics and artifical intelligence, but relatively few companies have realized that predictions do not automatically lead to good decisions. This is what optimization and operations research can deliver us. This is more ambitious to learn, but rewarding. Also, the students get in touch with RWTH’s excellent infrastructure, the RWTH Campus where tomorrow’s engineering is created, local companies, many of which are “hidden champions” in their domains. Getting acquainted with the German culture and learning the language are certainly assets when aiming for a professional career in Germany. For landing a tech or quant position there could hardly be a better idea than studying in Aachen.

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