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Several professors from the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics and from the Faculty of Management and Economics of the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt (AAU) proposed a joint Karl Popper Kolleg for the period 2017–2020, which was approved by the Rectorate of the AAU in May 2017. Its title is “Modeling, Analysis, Simulation and Optimization of Discrete, Continuous, and Stochastic Systems with Applications in Business and Economics” (MANSIO) and it will have a focus on (1) research on mathematical methods and models in the area of modeling, analysis, and optimization of discrete, continuous, and stochastic systems; (2) develop mathematical and computational methods and apply these tools to problems in business and economics, with special emphasis on the results from part (1), where the economic problems cover both topics from management and micro- and macroeconomics.
Research in the MANSIO Kolleg will be conducted in the following areas (in alphabetical order):
The cooperation between the mathematics and statistics faculty and the business and economics faculty will not be confined to the exchange of ideas and joint seminars but will essentially be implemented in the joint supervision of PhD students in the MANSIO Kolleg. For this purpose, each PhD student will be supervised by at least two professors with particular competence in areas which impact on the student’s research topic. As an example, a study of economic policies in a monetary union (obviously a topic of high significance in Europe today) will involve not only macroeconomics and the theory of economic policy but also game theory, dynamic systems and optimal control theory (including dynamic games), parameter identification, statistical estimation and simulation of econometric models as well as other mathematical tools. Or, an examination of the evolution of collusive behavior in a firm or similar organization may involve agent based modeling and principal agent modeling, but also game theory, complexity theory, the analysis of deterministic and stochastic dynamic systems and computational mathematics and statistics, among others. Joint supervision by one or more professors of mathematics and statistics on the one hand and one or more professors from management science and economics on the other will contribute to research results of highest quality which shall be submitted to first-class journals in either field.
For the first step, the selection of the PhD students, we implemented the following procedure:
Announcements of the MANSIO Karl Popper Kolleg and a Call for Applications (CfA) are placed, in addition to the usual means of communication (Mitteilungsblatt), on the websites of online platforms for graduate, especially PhD students, in the area relevant for the Kolleg (mathematics, statistics, business, economics). The CfA is contained in this text. In addition, the professors have sent messages to national and international scientific societies and to colleagues and asked them to distribute the CfA.
Potential applicants are required to have a strong background in mathematics and/or in mathematical economics equivalent to a Master degree. They are also encouraged to present some ideas of a possible topic for their dissertation. The selection process will take place from the beginning of summer 2017. Decisions about whom to invite will be made in July, and interviews with promising candidates will be held in July, August and September. The final decision will be made successively until the four positions are filled, ideally by mid-September; it will require consent by at least a majority of the professors who agree to be part of the Kolleg (we will aim at achieving unanimous consent by all).
The administrative burden and the overall responsibility for the selection of the candidates rests with the speaker of the MANSIO Kolleg, to be elected by all professors. In the first meeting of (most of) the faculty interested in participating, Barbara Kaltenbacher (deputy speaker) and Reinhard Neck (speaker) were provisionally elected into this position, a decision to be confirmed or revised after the actual start of the Kolleg in October 2017.
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