Yuichi Komiyama, a student at the Graduate School of Political Science (at the time), participated in the Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Management (QTEM) Program and studied abroad at Porto University in Portugal and LUISS University in Italy for half a year at each institution. He shares his experience in this article.
QTEM program is an exchange program founded in 2012. 25 academic partners including not only in Europe but also in North America and Asia participate in this program. The goal of QTEM is to develop skills in analytical and quantitative techniques to support decision-making in an international context. Each student in the program select a module, for example, finance or management, depending on their interest.
Students study at two universities for half a year at each institution. I went to Porto University from August 2017 to February 2018 in Portugal and LUISS University from August 2018 to February 2019 in Italy. I was interested in the “Business Intelligence and Big Data” module, which is why I took mainly machine learning courses at Porto University and Probability or Competition and High-tech market lectures at LUISS University. I was impressed by the motivation of the students at those universities and by the fact that they studied not only as an individual but as a team. Since at Porto University, most of the assignments were group work, we shared background knowledge on how to solve them. At LUISS University, there were many students who taught each other to complete assignments, even if they were individual assignments.
I also participated in the QTEM Data Challenge (QDC), which was started last year. Every participant was organized into a group of three and the groups were given options of two datasets to analyze one. . My team members were students who were studying abroad at Waseda and the other was studying at Monash Business School. We carried out our project with team members of geographically and culturally different backgrounds. Although there were many difficulties, it was a precious experience.
The final round for the presentation was held at BI Norwegian Business School, where the QTEM Annual Meeting & Graduation was also held at the same time. Our team was given the dataset from Anheuser-Busch InBev and our goal was to predict the entire beer market volume or each item sold in Belgium. After the presentation, the company asked us questions. They were interested in not only the results of the prediction but the practical business insight as well. I felt the difference between academia and business. Thankfully, we won second place in the competition. The winning team analyzed the Erasmus student dataset. Their presentation was impressive, and moreover, they created a website to share what they found from the dataset.
I met foreign students interested in quantitative analysis by joining this program. These days, the world is becoming rapidly borderless by means of information technology. I would like to make use of the experience to lead the world with the other QTEM students.