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Professor Dick den Hertog has been appointed professor of Operations Research at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam. As a professor of Operations Research, Den Hertog will focus on developing and solving mathematical optimisation problems. He combines theoretical research with practical applications in business and, in particular, applications within a broader societal context.

Dick den Hertog. Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Den Hertog's theoretical research focuses on Robust Optimisation: calculating robust solutions for optimisation problems with a lot of uncertainty in the input parameter values. In the future, Den Hertog will conduct research into the use of artificial intelligence - and especially machine learning methodologies - for solving optimisation problems.

Analytics for a Better World
Den Hertog conducts applied research with great social impact. In 2013, as leader of a research team, he received the prestigious Franz Edelman Award, for the project Optimisation of dyke heights in the Netherlands. This project saved the Netherlands an estimated 7 billion euros. Another example is his work on the optimisation of food chains within the United Nations World Food Programme, resulting in millions more people being better fed. Den Hertog is also currently conducting research into the optimal irradiation of tumours, together with oncology experts from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Within his applied research, Den Hertog wants to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Together with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he will set up the research lab Analytics for a Better World (ABW). Students of the new Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Data Science & Business Analytics at the Faculty of Economics & Business can gain knowledge and experience with both the business and societal applications of analytics.

About Dick den Hertog
Den Hertog has been professor of Operations Research at Tilburg School of Economics and Management since 2000. From 2016 – 2019, he was scientific director of the Data Science Center Tilburg (DSC/t) and from 2017 – 2019 he was leader of the Tilburg University Impact Programme Creating Value from Data. Previously, Den Hertog was vice-dean of research and director of the research institute CentER at Tilburg University. From 1992 – 1999, Den Hertog worked at CQM, where he carried out analytics projects for companies such as Philips and ProRail.

Den Hertog is chairman of the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research (LNMB). In addition, he is a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he provides a course on Robust Optimisation for PhD candidates.