New Professor of Digital Ecosystems at WU
Verena Dorner has joined the team of the Department of Information Systems and Operations.
Verena Dorner (39) earned her doctorate from the University of Passau in 2020 with a dissertation on “Decision-making support in project portfolio management – Generating a transparent basis for decisions.” In 2014, she switched to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where she headed the research group on Electronic Markets and User Behavior and the Karlsruhe Decision and Design Lab. She has gained international experience at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), Corvinus University of Budapest, the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, the University of Pretoria (South Africa), and the University of Newcastle (Australia). From 2017 – 2018 she taught at the University of Cologne as a visiting professor of information systems, followed by a return to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to teach consumer and user behavior.
Research focus: Digital aids in decision-making
In her research, Verena Dorner focuses mainly on the digitalization of decision-making processes in a variety of ecosystems (e.g. by consumers or in finance) and develops algorithms and systems to support decision makers. In particular, she analyzes cognitive and emotional aspects of the decision-making process and develops models and system designs based on the results. Her research has been awarded the Heinz Sauermann research grant by the German Association for Experimental Economic Research (GfeW) on multiple occasions. Specifically, she has looked into how emotions influence the behavior of bidders at auctions and investigated the potential of emotion management training and live biofeedback (the real-time observation of the body’s own processes using technical aids) to prevent phenomena such as auction fever, which can lead to inflationary bidding. A proposal she submitted on the use of biosignals in group interactions won the DESRIST 2017 Best Prototypes and Products Award. A further research area is designing robo-advisory platforms to provide improved support for inexperienced investors pursuing no or overly conservative investment strategies. Her article on this topic won the 2019 Paper of the Year Award from the journal Electronic Markets. In her research at WU, Dorner plans to work on an interdisciplinary basis and continue her investigations into information systems, especially in the areas of digitalization, consumer behavior, adaptive system design, and data analysis. “My research is mainly quantitative, experimental, and behavior-oriented, so at WU I’m looking forward to developing further systems, methods, and interfaces that react to users’ interaction patterns and neuropsychological data. In my teaching, I hope to provide my students with the theoretical and methodological skills they will need to analyze the challenges presented by digital ecosystems and develop sound solutions, preparing them as well as possible for the job market,” says Verena Dorner.
Verena Dorner will also be the deputy academic director of the new English-taught Master's Program on the Digital Economy, which will start accepting applications in September 2020.