Siham El-Kihal: WU's new marketing professor


Her extensive expertise on marketing applications of artificial intelligence will strengthen WU’s research and teaching activities.

Siham El-Kihal’s academic career reflects her interdisciplinary approach: She holds no fewer than three master’s degrees – one in engineering, one in business administration with a focus on electrical engineering, and one in quantitative economics with a subsequent specialization in quantitative marketing. After completing her doctoral degree at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, she was appointed assistant professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

An interdisciplinary approach and cutting-edge technology

For Siham El-Kihal, an interdisciplinary approach drawing from fields like machine learning, business, economics, and psychology is a key aspect of her work: “I believe that when it comes to developing solutions to increasingly complex, newly emerging issues, interdisciplinary expertise is key, especially in a world that is becoming interconnected at a faster and faster pace.” One of Professor El-Kihal’s main research priorities is therefore to explore new ways of generating valuable insights from unstructured data, in particular texts and images. From state-of-the-art image processing techniques to natural language processing in marketing contexts, she has studied the benefits of a range of different methods: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are particularly promising tools for helping companies to master the increasingly complex challenges that lie ahead. For example, sophisticated image processing programs can be used to predict and reduce returns of products ordered online.”

New research in the pipeline

Siham El-Kihal speaks five languages and holds Moroccan and German citizenship. Over the course of her academic career, she has completed several international research stays, including at the MIT Sloan School of Management, New York University, and the Arison School of Business in Tel Aviv. Her research has earned her multiple prizes and awards, and she has published a number of books. She is very much looking forward to working at WU: “In my future research, I want to focus on applications of artificial intelligence in marketing contexts and pass this knowledge on to my students.” Siham El-Kihal took up her new professorship at WU’s Department of Marketing on February 1.

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