Report on the 3rd fieldtrip of the Heidelberg Chapter of SIAM to Deutsche Bahn in Frankfurt

Fieldtrips to interesting industry companies that employ mathematical methods are one of the most important activities carried out on a regular basis by the SIAM chapter of Heidelberg. They enable our members to get hands-on insights in real-world applications of mathematics in big companies and they are a great platform for networking and getting an overview on job opportunities for mathematicians. This year's fieldtrip was organized in cooperation with DB Analytics in Frankfurt. DB Analytics is a company within Deutsche Bahn AG that is specialized in statistical and mathematical methods.

Our group of roughly 20 SIAM chapter members started the fieldtrip day with a train ride (of course no bus-trip this time) to Frankfurt, where DB Analytics is based. After a warm welcome by Mr. Hanno Schülldorf and his colleagues we started the program consisting of several sessions of expert talks from DB Analytics and our members. We were given a lot of insights into the world of mathematical challenges arising in a big mobility and logistics company like DB. Optimization of logistic networks and statistical evaluation of data-quality were just two topics we got to learn about. Another interesting topic was about an interactive decision support system for vehicle scheduling, where it became apparent that the integration of the human factor is a key aspect in introducing sophisticated mathematical methods and algorithms into daily business.

Not only we learned a lot about mathematical applications in DB Analytics, but also three of our members got the opportunity to talk about their research topics including optimization of dynamical systems, applications for fast feedback methods in real world examples such as heavy duty trucks and the use of neural networks in modelling complex programming codes. A lot of intersections between our research interests and the work of DB analytics became apparent and was discussed lively in the coffee-breaks and in the lunch break at the canteen of Frankfurt main station. Altogether we can look back at another rewarding fieldtrip and the Heidelberg Chapter of SIAM wants to thank DB Analytics and especially Hanno Schülldorf and Dr. Boris Krostitz for making this day a success.

Our group together with Hanno Schülldorf
Discussion between the talks