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Knowledge exchange about QUANTS

In the series of interviews with research group managers the turn has come to Joachim Scholderer who will present the work of the research group QUANTS.

2014.08.08 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

It is early August and Joachim Scholderer is making plans for the next semester, but he has time to sit down and answer questions about the QUANTS group. This interview is the second in a series of interviews with research group managers at the department.

Joachim is head of the quantitative analytics research group, in short called QUANTS. The research group are responsible for the methodology and statistics courses on the business programmes. The QUANTS group differ from some of the department's other research groups, as they work do not work with a separation between research and teaching.

Cooperation is essential

The QUANTS researchers find that collaboration is absolutely crucial. Innovative methods are created in interaction with practical problems, not through derivation from first mathematical principles.

The group’s basic research fields are:

  • Quantitative methods
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Cognitive science

"A few of the researchers focus only on statistics in their work. But most of the researchers in the group combine their statistical insight with for example innovation management, performance management, marketing topics and consumer psychology," says Joachim and adds:

The researchers collaborate a great deal with research groups within the department, but they also carry out research together with partners from other environments at Aarhus University, especially at the AU Cognition and Behaviour Lab. The group conduct many of their studies in the Cognition and Behaviour Lab, which is an experimental facility with the latest devices for eye-tracking, perception research, reaction time studies and game theoretical experiments.

Statistics as a discipline has changed a lot over the years and analysing data nowadays means analysing "big data". The QUANTS researchers build modelling approaches that can deal with massive datasets. Their work in this area can be described as the conjunction of statistics, machine learning and information systems.

The transformation of teaching

The group’s teaching is undergoing a development process. The methodology courses on the MSc in Business Administration were recently restructured. The courses now comprise more practical project work, more supervision sessions and an oral exam. The results are clear: the new course structure has given way to more skilled students, higher grades and a much lower failure rate.

The group’s own Master’s programme, Business Intelligence, has excellent and highly committed students. It was launched in 2011, replacing the Master’s programme in Business Performance Management. Today, the students acquire skills that enable them to handle complex tasks related to for example data mining, online analytical processing of "big data" and business process improvement, when they get their first job after graduation.

"When you take a more practical approach to teaching statistics, and teach the students how to apply their knowledge to real-life problems, then the students simply learn and understand it better and become interested,” Joachim says with a smile.

 

Knowledge exchange
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