Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Statistician Heike Trautmann is Pascal professor 2017

The German professor of Information Systems and Statistics Heike Trautmann accepted the Pascal chair this month at LIACS, the computer science institute of Leiden University. Trautmann’s main research areas are evolutionary multiobjective optimisation and data science, in which LIACS is strong as well.


Prof. Heike Trautmann is leading a research group at the University of Münster and is vice-dean of Internationalisation at the Münster School of Business and Economics. One of her research fields is multiobjective evolutionary optimisation, which deals with optimising multiple, usually conflicting criteria simultaneously. Trautmann: ‘Specifically think of industrial processes, incorporation of experts’ knowledge and performance assessment.’

Furthermore, she investigates automated algorithm selection and benchmark concepts for continuous and combinatorial optimisation. ‘For example in the context of finding optimal solutions to vehicle routing problems.’

Big data of customers and propaganda

Trautmann is involved in a number of large data science projects. ‘We are cooperating with industry in big data research and have a special lab for research on omni-channel customer relationship management. Furthermore, we are doing research on online communication such as the project PropStop funded by the German Ministry of Education, in which we are actively trying to detect propaganda in online media.’

Successful cooperation

In recent years, Trautmann already collaborated with Leiden computer scientists. ‘LIACS is an excellent institute and I am honoured to have received this position. Together with researchers from LIACS, I published an award winning article last year on multimodality in multiobjective optimisation and took part in a project on preference integration. I would very much like to proceed these cooperations. Apart from that, I am hoping to find new successful research allies.’

ERCIS meeting and Lorentz workshop

Trautmann is a director of the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), which LIACS has joined last year. ‘I will support the integration of LIACS into ERCIS and help organise the yearly ERCIS meeting in Leiden this August. Apart from that, I would like to organise a Lorentz workshop for the world’s leading experts in our research area at LIACS and other institutes.’

Pascal chair

The Pascal chair is established by the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) of Leiden University and applies for one year. The chair is meant to strengthen the cooperation of the Leiden computer science research with foreign institutes. In 2015, it was held by Prof. Dr. Natasa Jonoska, professor in theoretical computer science at the University of South Florida. She is active in modelling molecular processes and DNA-nanotechnology.