PhD School Business Informatics 2021

From September 13-15, 2021 the first edition of the PhD School Business Informatics took place at the University of Fribourg. Business informatics is an inter-disciplinary field located between business administration/management and computer science. In addition it provides specific methods, for example for aligning business strategies with technical information processing. Graduates in business informatics dispose of profound knowledge of technical methods such as programming, software engineering, databases, the design of software architectures and systems and machine learning as well as sound skills in business administration, mathematics and statistics. Furthermore, they are proficient in conceptual modeling, the analysis and simulation of business processes and their implementation in software systems. A main task of business informatics professionals is the digitalization of organizations, i.e. the alignment of business requirements and technical solutions for generating added value for customers, enterprises, employees, and the public administration.

The PhD School provides a contribution to the academic education in business informatics that goes beyond the bachelor and master studies offered by the SES faculty. In this year's edition, several professors of the department of informatics held lectures on research methods and publication strategies and gave insights into their current research topics and approaches. On the first day, Prof. Philippe Cudré-Mauroux and Prof. Hans-Georg Fill described the positioning of the field in the academic community and showed which research directions can be taken. In addition, insights into research methods and publication processes were given. This was further deepened by lectures from Thomas Henkel on the role of open access and open data in today's publishing world and Prof. Edy Portmann and Prof. Bernard Ries on ethics in research.

Subsequently, Prof. Cudré-Mauroux presented the current state in research on big data integration. This was followed by lectures from Prof. Bernard Ries on the exploitation of graph structures to cope with hard problems, Prof. Hans-Georg Fill on metamodeling as a research foundation, a lecture by Prof. Denis Lalanne on human-computer interaction, a lecture by Prof. Ulrich Ultes-Nitsche on the verification of criticial systems, and a hands-on session on fuzzy systems by PD Dr. Luis Terán and Prof. Edy Portmann. The second day was rounded off with a guest talk by Prof. Hubert Österle from University of St. Gallen on the achievements and challenges of design-oriented business informatics. A joint dinner with the professors and PhD students offered the possibility for further exchanges in a more informal setting.

On the third day, the PhD students gave insights into the current state of their PhD theses and received feedback from the professors. The PhD school ended with an invited talk from industry, given by Dr. Andreas Quandt, Head of Digital Transformation at Swiss Post, showing the value of a PhD for leading positions not only in academia but als in an industrial context.

The PhD School Business Informatics is financially supported by the rectorate of the University of Fribourg and will continue with the next edition in 2022.



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