Franz Rothlauf elected as SIGEVO chair


During the annual SIGEVO Executive Board meeting at Prague in July 2019 Franz Rothlauf was elected as Chair of SIGEVO. SIGEVO is the ACM Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation. SIGEVO is the scientific community which sponsors the GECCO and FOGA conference series. The chair of SIGEVO is elected for two years. Before elected as SIGEVO chair, Franz served as treasurer for SIGEVO from 2011 to 2019. The photo shows the Executive Board of SIGEVO together with the GECCO 2019 organizers in Prague.

Dr. Adam Seredynski completes his doctoral thesis

Dr. Adam Seredynski has successfully completed his Dr. rer. pol. on the topic “On the Connectivity, Cooperation and Competition in Connected Flight Networks” with his defense on 30.11.3018. We congratulate him for the great work and wish him continued success in his professional carrier.

Mr Seredynski studied in JGU in years 2006-2008 in cooperation with SGH Warsaw and completed his double degree with a diploma thesis on “The forecasting of the transfer passenger flows in the hubs of the German Lufthansa AG: FRA and MUC”. He started working as external PhD student in 2009 after joining airconomy GmbH&Co KG which he continued after the acquisition of airconomy by Amadeus. He submitted his thesis in 2017.

Dr. Sebastian Herrmann joins Wiesbaden Business School as a Professor of Information Systems

Dr. Sebastian Herrmann has accepted a call to the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. He will be a Professor of Information Systems in the faculty "Wiesbaden Business School" as of September 2017. Sebastian has been a research assistant in our department since 2012. His research focuses on network analysis and metaheuristics in combinatorial optimization.  Since 2016, Sebastian has also been the head of data scientists at one of our industry partner Avinomics GmbH in Frankfurt/Main.

We are very proud and will be happy to continue our collaboration in both research and teaching.

Sebastian Herrmann completes his dissertation

Mr. Sebastian Herrmann has successfully completed his dissertation "Complex Network Analysis of Fitness Landscapes" and passed his defence on the 4th of November 2016. In his cumulative thesis, he investigates the structure of combinatorial optimization problems by applying complex network analysis to fitness landscapes.

We are pleased that Dr. Herrmann is still available to our team for teaching and research.

Malte Probst completes his dissertation and goes to Honda Research Institute

Mr. Malte Probst has successfully completed his dissertation "Generative Neual Networks for Combinatorial Optimization". In his cumulative thesis, he investigated the use of state-of-the-art Machine Learning models in Estimation of Distribution Algorithms for solving combinatorial optimization problems.

In November 2016, Mr. Probst joined the Honda Research Institute in Offenbach as a Senior Scientist for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Systems. We would like to say thank you to Mr. Probst for his fine work and the time he spend with us at the chair. We wish him all the best, success and a good time in Offenbach.

Dr. Jörn Grahl becomes Professor at the University of Cologne

Jörn Grahl has moved from Mainz to the University of Cologne where he is now professor of Information Systems, Digital Transformation, and Analytics at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences as of June 1st, 2015. He joins the research initiative "Value Creation in a Changing Customer and Media Environment".

From April 2008 until May 2015, Jörn was assistant professor here in Mainz. His main research areas were social commerce, causal inference in big datasets, machine learning, and social and information networks.

It was a pleasure for us to work with Jörn during the time he was in Mainz. We wish him all the best in his new role.

Franz Rothlauf gave a doctoral class on "Design and Application of Modern Heuristics" in Mainz between October 6-9, 2014

The course is part of the doctoral program of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB)
( and can be used at many European universities with 6 ECTS credit points.

Besides learning how to apply metaheuristics, the interactive 4-day course dealt with the following questions:
1. How to select among different metaheuristics?
2. How to design efficient metaheuristics?
3. How to consider problem-specific knowledge for the design of metaheuristics?

There were nine participants from different universities in Germany and Switzerland. On Wednesday evening, the class had a sightseeing tour through Mainz and visited a traditional vine restaurant. A new edition of the course will be offered in autumn 2015 or 2016. More infos can be found at

Three outstanding doctoral theses at the chair of Information Systems and Business Admininstration – Congratulations

In September 2014 t
hree theses have been successfully completed at the chair of Information Systems and Business Administration.

Mr. Nicco Graf completed his cumulative dissertation with the title “Securing Supporters’ Commitment in Firm-NGO Collaborations: The NGO Perspective”. He addressed the question of how non-governmental organizations can establish a strategic change concerning collaborations with firms without putting NGO member’s approval at risk. He pursued this question in a comprehensive experimental and empirical study go on reading

Jella Pfeiffer transfers to the KIT – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Jella Pfeiffer has left our chair on 01/09/2014 and transfers to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to the Institute of Information Systems and Marketing. In Karlsruhe Ms. Pfeiffer now manages the workgroup Electronic Markets & User Behavior. Furthermore she will establish and manage the KD2Lab – an experimental lab in which neurological measurement methods (e.g. EEG and Eye-Tracking) can be used.
We would like to say thank you to Ms. Pfeiffer for her fine work and the time she spend with us at the chair. We wish her all the best, success and a good time in Karlsruhe.
Link to Jella Pfeiffer’s new website

Nicco Graf won Academy of Management's PNP Division Best Reviewer Award

Nicco Graf won the best reviewer award of the Academy of Management's Public & Nonprofit division for his reviewing activities in the run-up to the Academy of Management's 2013 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Facebook recommendations could be worth millions of euros - Study confirms online sales are enhanced by social recommendations and determines the actual value of "likes"

When online retailers display customer recommendations next to their product descriptions, it can significantly increase the sales of these. This is the conclusion reached following a study undertaken by academics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt. They conducted an experiment in cooperation with an online mail order company to determine whether product recommendations by customers have an impact on other customers' buying behavior. Go on reading... ... 

Franz Rothlauf has been designated as ACM Senior Member

Franz Rothlauf has been designated as ACM Senior Member. The Senior Member Grade recognizes those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers. more information can be found at

Amazon and Apple fence off their e-book markets - Researchers from Mainz University hand over their recommendation of the EPUB3 standard to Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda

There are no technical or functional reasons for Amazon and Apple to fence off their e-book worlds using proprietary e-book formats. This is the result of a research study conducted by Professor Dr. Christoph Bläsi and Professor Dr. Franz Rothlauf of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and handed over today to Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, in Brussels. The researchers emphasize the fact that the format standard proposal EPUB3 supports all features needed for multimedia and interactive e-books. Amazon and Apple, however, use other formats that are incompatible with that of most independent retailers and are thus limiting users to the products of their respective e-book stores.

In their study, commissioned by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), Professor Dr. Christoph Bläsi of the JGU Institute of Book Studies and Professor Dr. Franz Rothlauf of the Gutenberg School of Management and Economics also discuss the fact that the industry-wide use of the EPUB3 standard alone would not guarantee the complete interoperability of e-books for consumers. The digital rights management measures of the different publishing worlds would have to be synchronized. The study holds that this would be feasible, given the corresponding will of the parties concerned.

The 48-page study on the current interoperability of e-book formats has today been handed over to Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EU Commission for the Digital Agenda. It is to contribute to the creation of a barrier-free market for e-books.

Further information as well as press comments can be found at

On the interoperability of e-books formats

A study into interoperability of e-book formats unveiled at the EIBF Annual Conference, Brussels, 16 May 2013, commissioned from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz by the European & International Booksellers Federation

The study was conducted by Professor Christoph Bläsi and Professor Franz Rothlauf of Johannes Gutenberg University, who said: "There is no technical or functional reason not to use and establish EPUB 3 as an/the interoperable (open) ebook format standard.

One short term obstacle is the non-availability of reader applications able to display all EPUB 3 features. However, this problem should be fixed soon by the IDPF Readium initiative which is developing an open source reference system and rendering engine for EPUB 3."

Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, praised the study: "My wish is that booksellers in Europe can take initiatives and benefit from the growth in the ebook markets. This is why I welcome this study by the European Booksellers Federation. Interoperability is a major requirement to build a truly digital society. This applies to ebooks too. This study provides interesting insights on ways to reach true interoperability in the ebook market, through both interoperable ebook formats and interoperable DRM schemes. Now is the time for open standards regarding ebooks, just like has happened in other areas of the digital economy."

John Mc Namee, President of the European Branch, EBF, said: "The lack of interoperability between formats and platforms has been identified as one of the major obstacles hindering the Digital Agenda and is a real problem for booksellers in their daily contacts with their customers. On behalf of my colleagues from all Booksellers Associations in membership with EBF, I am very pleased that this study provides clear scientific evidence that interoperability is achievable. It also shows that there are alternatives to DRM's and that content port
ability is feasible. Booksellers are keen to promote business models which make digital content easily accessible to the customers they are in touch with on a daily basis in their terrestrial or e-bookshops, the European readers.

Equally, booksellers are keen to sell e-books across borders and make as many customers as possible happy. They strongly support an open market, without territorial restrictions, in the full respect of copyright".

A summary of the study in German and French are available on the following web site:

PhD Student receives McKinsey's Business Technology Award 2010

The Business Technology Award 2010 by the consultant company McKinsey & Company goes to Jella Pfeiffer, a PhD student at the GSME Chair in Information Systems and Business Administration. At the final in Kitzbuhel she presented her work on an interactive decision aid for Internet shopping. The Business Technology Award, which is endowed with 7500€, has been announced for the first time this year by the McKinsey Business Technology Office (BTO). The criteria of the prize were the degree of innovation and relevance, the conceptual and methodological quality and the presentation of the work. The Jury was composed of members from industry and universities. ... 

We had our annual summer barbeque on 10th July 2008.
This time, the participants were competing for the first Mainzer Wifo-Kicker-Cup!
more ...

Prof. Dr. Franz Rothlauf gave his inaugural lecture at the university of Mainz on 19th June 2008.
Photos of the event, the slides, and more ...

In the previously published Handelsblatt ranking Franz Rothlauf was ranked among the 100 most active young (younger than 40) business administration researchers as well as among the 200 most productive business administration researchers (publication output of the last five years). ...

Franz Rothlauf and Andreas Fink from the Helmut Schmidt-University Hamburg organized the 3rd European Workshop on Evolutionary Computation in Transportation and Logistics.
more ...

Prof. Dr. Franz Rothlauf gave his inaugural lecture at the university of Mainz on 19th June 2008.
Photos of the event, the slides, and more ...

In the course of the tutorial which belongs to the Winfo 2 lecture "Technologien Betrieblicher Informationssysteme" ("Technologies of operational information systems"), the group which emerged victorious in the winter semester 2007/2008 received book tokens. ...

Since January 1st 2007, Wolfgang Steitz works as a research assistant at the chair of business administration and computer science. ...

On September 25th 2007, private lecturer Franz Rothlauf was appointed university professor. ...
ACM has just concluded the email balloting of SIGEVO members for election of nine new members of the SIGEVO (Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation) Executive Committee. ...