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Show and Tell: decision-making in companies    Mar 11, 2019

Show and Tell: decision-making in companies
Mar 11, 2019


De heer Hamzah QABBAAH



Welcome to show and tell. Today we sit together with Ph.D. student Hamzah Qabbaah, who investigates how we can better support decision-making processes in companies and organizations. Hamzah shows us his favorite spot on campus and tells us all about his research, dreams, ambitions, and passions…


Q: “Why did you choose this location?

A: “I choose the Agora because a lot of my best memories happened here. In 2013, when I began my master’s degree, I visited the agora the day after I arrived in Belgium and every time I walk into this area I get into a positive vibe. It was the place where I met up every week with my new international colleagues and friends, where we had group meetings for master classes, studied for exams together, discussed the subject matter and of course had the World Evening parties! I participated four times and even danced the traditional Jordanian dance called Dabkeh, which got us second place and third place twice”.

Q: “How would you explain your research to a five-year-old?

A: “My research aims to support the decision-making processes in companies and organizations by modelling and analyzing data, information, and knowledge. In other words, the research that I do is related to datamining which is the process of sorting through large data sets to identify patterns and establish relationships to solve problems through data analysis.

Q: “What is the status of your research?

A: “I am currently in the last year of my Ph.D. So far, I have used data mining for two research studies: an e-mail campaign project and logistics project. In the latter, I proposed a model which can anticipate and inform the customer whether or not their order is going to be subject to customs based on a set of predefined rules. Moreover, a model of data driven marketing application has been proposed. Four papers have been published during the whole of my Ph.D. experience.


Q: “Why this research?

A: “E-commerce and online shopping have grown extraordinarily due to the rapid development and popularization of internet use. Companies want to understand the data they have and be able to predict their customer's behavioral characteristics. Data mining is used to discover patterns and relationships in the data in order to help make better business decisions.

Q: “If you wouldn’t be working at UHasselt, where would you be now?

A: “I would probably be a Ph.D. student at a British or German university. But since I graduated from UHasselt as a master student, I truly believe that it is one of the best places in Europe to work and stay in.” 


Q: “What did you want to become growing up?

A: “One of the traditions in the Middle East is that the son follows in his father’s footsteps. My father is a professor, but he encouraged me to become a computer engineer because I’ve been working professionally with Microsoft software since I was 13 years old. I actually loved the computer and studied computer engineering as a B.Sc. Then I went on to get my master’s degree and a doctorate to become a professor. So it seems that, through coincidence, tradition won in the end.

Q: “What are your professional ambitions?

A: “During my experience as a Ph.D. student I always wanted to become a professor and teach students. On the other hand, because my research is more or less based in digital marketing and data mining, I also see myself switching over from an academic career to the private sector so I can use what I have learned in practice. The future will tell.

Q: “One final question, what is a book/movie/concert that you would recommend to colleagues?

A: “I would definitely suggest all researchers to read the book “Writing Science - How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded”. One of the best books that shows how to write research with useful examples.