Yue Zhou-Kangas, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
“I could not imagine what I would have missed, if I had not come.” as I told friends I met in Recife, Brazil. Every morning, I prepared myself by walking along the beach, listening to the waves, and let the warm Atlantic Ocean water touch my feet. I know I am ready for the challenging day of the MCDA/M summer school. The days in the summer school were indeed challenging because we were introduced various topics in MCDA/M field. I gained a good overview of the topics, which consolidates my own research. In the case work, I learnt to work and cooperate with people with a variety of cultural backgrounds. Along with the scientific knowledge, I learnt the stories from the lecturers when they were young researchers (as we are now). The stories continues to encourage me toward my goal of making a difference in MCDA/M field. Outside of the scientific programs, I met people that I can address them as friends now. We went together to explore Recife, ranging from the nature to culture. A part of us will always be associated with Recife and MCDA/M summer school where our friendship has began. As I told my friends, good-bye until next time. We are a group of young researchers, who were spoiled by the organizers, lecturers, hotel staff and many locals in Recife. We were provide the best lectures, most fascinating stories, maximized comfortability, best banquet where everyone danced, and most warm hospitality and many other things. The successful summer school has written a new history in MCDM society and by attending the summer school, we attendees made a difference. I recommend MCDA/M summer school to others. I also recommend Recife to people who wants to have an unique experience.Photo “O, linda (oh, beautiful)” taken in Olinda
Shekhar Shukla, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), India
I feel blessed to be a part of 12th MCDA/M Summer School at Recife, Brazil. It was a memorable experience in terms of learning, networking and hospitality. The Summer School was well planned in terms of taking us to a broad spectrum of topics in MCDA/M. The best part of the Summer School was presence of almost 50 students from different reputed educational campuses across the globe and presence of Professors, Researchers and Corporates with world-wide repute to deliver sessions based on knowledge dissemination. We were also rewarded with an opportunity to work in Case Groups that was insightful for spirit of teamwork, mutual respect and direct guidance from experts.Apart from these things, there is something more that certainly needs a highlight. This was the extraordinary hospitality of the organizers and the presence of simplicity and humbleness in the panel of experts that really made an impact in my heart. Let me talk about each of them one by one. To talk about hospitality, organizers were so caring and bothered about each participant that I am really out of words to express. They were very proactive to address our concerns and needs. From Day One to Day Last they were in same stance and were very much there for us. Talking about the expert panel, which was surely a group of intellectuals hard to find at one place. They were all simple and humble in their sessions to express the content in most understandable way. They were also very approachable for discussions and addressing puny doubts of budding researchers like us. It was really sweet and welcoming of them. Thank you for all the learning, care and opportunities. After having a jump start from this Summer School, I strongly desire to remain active through my work in domain of MCDA/M. Also, aspire to see my Summer School Friends and Experts in near future.
Pedro Correia, University of Coimbra, Portugal
I applied to attend the MCDA/M Summer School because I believed that I would build on my knowledge by learning from the best lecturers in the field and by getting to know several young talented researchers. Now I can tell you, my beliefs were fulfilled.
In the school, I got the possibility to attend excellent talks, given by outstanding researchers who were not only great communicators, making our learning task easier, but also very sympathetic people outside the classroom. By the way, did I mention that the lecturers also proved to have amazing dancing skills during the banquet?
There is one thing, though, that I could have not imagined before attending the summer school. I could not have imagined that I would meet people that are so interesting, so funny, so different and so equal to each other and with whom I had so many “adventures” in just two weeks, with whom I would actually want to keep in touch, and sincerely try to be friends for the future. I am obviously talking about the group of students. This group of 44 young fellows I will never forget. Thank you MCDM Society, thank you Summer School Organizing Committee for all the knowledge, for this school, and for letting me meet this amazing set of people. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Jasmin Grabenschweiger, University of Vienna, Austria
Multiple Criteria Decision Making/Aid – an important approach in business but maybe sometimes also useful in private issues. Maybe I could have also applied it when deciding for going to a scientific education trip. However, I must admit it was a rather intuitive and spontaneous thing. After receiving the e-mail with information about this MCDM/A Summer School, three colleagues and I were immediately convinced and ready for some new
adventures and experiences. Now that I’m back, I can only say it was the best decision we could have made in the first PhD year! Still, let’s try to confirm this by evaluating it a posteriori in an MCDM way, defining first of all the following criteria: participants, scientific program, host country, social program, venue, organization, costs (the order of listing them gives already a hint about how important they are to me). Well, I was maybe not the biggest fan of the Hotel and the breakfast-lunch-dinner-buffet there, but everything else has to be rated with high score. The organizers and lecturers did a great job and what I really liked is that one felt kind of a good personal level to interact with them. The lecture schedule was optimally structured. So morning sessions were theoretical courses, presented most of the time in an appealing way, while afternoon sessions were primarily dedicated to our case studies, something that triggered an unexpected wave of motivation and enthusiasm amongst all of us, such that even some overtime working until late at night could be observed. But let’s come from the scientific part to the part that is responsible for a lot of emotions and contributed heavily to the super atmosphere of the Summer School: the other participants. Well, I was sure that I will have at least three amazing people there, the ones that came with me from Vienna. But beside them I got to know a lot of other great personalities from all over the world that made the time in Brazil memorable. Course days, relax evenings, party nights – everything was so funny with them and passed by simply too quickly. In the end with some of them saying goodbye was really hard for my heart – although the planning for saying hello again in (hopefully near) future is already ongoing. I know that such events are often a good occasion for having a good time and establishing good friendships, but I think what made it in our case even better was the spirit and vitality of the Brazilian country. It is so easy there to be open-hearted, free, positive, easy and to just have fun and dance (it’s not possible to not dance in Brazil!). So after all, I’m pretty sure that any MDCM/A method would come up with this Summer School as the most preferred alternative for me.
If you don’t know what Saudade is, go to Brazil! (source: somewhere from Pinterest)
Marta Dell’Ovo, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
It is quite hard for me to explain “my summer school”, but I will try. When I applied in December I was not sure to be accepted, I thought, “I’m an architect, I have a background completely different from other people”, then in January I received your email “We are pleased to inform that you have been accepted to participate in the 12th MCDA/M Summer School, to be held in Recife, Brazil, from July, 19-29th, 2016.” I still remember that moment. Talking with my friends in these days, and with my supervisor, it was almost impossible to explain how this experience changed me. In two weeks I had the opportunity to meet outstanding researchers in our field, to participate to interesting lectures of Professors that were happy to talk with us and toshare their knowledge even outside the classroom, to visit amazing places, to dance etc. etc.… Even the case study was really interesting and useful to put into practice the theory. I can admit that part of my heart is still in Recife, it was really one of the best experience of my life, I met great people, friends and maybe future colleagues. We spent almost 24h on 24 together, we shared good and bad moments together, they helped me when I needed it and I could never forget any of them. I changed my mind about the “research” and about how to be a researcher. Even if it was quite challenging for me I improved many different skills in that period. Someone once said “bad decisions make good stories” but in this case I could say “good decisions make better stories”. I would like to thank you very much for this amazing experience, for the knowledge we all gained and people I met. I hope we will stay in touch.
Francisco Silva Pinto, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Hello! My name is Francisco, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the 44 participants of the MCDM/A Summer School (hereafter SS) 2016. This is a ‘report’ of someone that took an unexpectedly amazing ride throughout an MCDM/A event. It all started with Professor Figueira convincing me that it would be a great opportunity to learn more and to meet fellow researchers in the area, but I have to admit that, at first, I was skeptic! Furthermore, at this point I was not going to get funded rendering the situation quite grim. Nonetheless, the momentum started to grow as the programme was put online (worst case scenario, it would be a good time to learn from the best in the field). Finally, it was already July, and time for the Summer School. From this point on, everything was just amazing, definitely the best event of my whole PhD (being quite modest), and yes I am almost finishing it (the PhD, hopefully). I can highlight 3 different perspectives to look into such experience, and in all of them it was incredible. The first was in learning, the lecturers were not just the best researchers, they were actually very good teachers, even in this perspective in which the bar was set really high, it was exceeded. The second was in working with your peers (yes we had group works!), it turned out to be a great working experience and a good way to apply some of the recently learned knowledge and software. And finally, all the remaining time that we had together, talking, playing, dancing, drinking, swimming, and whatever else I do not ‘recall’. All in all, I (and by this time we) can pretentiously say that we were very lucky to have each other in this experience, but I bet every single SS is an amazing experience for all its participants. What makes these MCDM/A SS amazing are the links that you build with everyone involved, they will be long lasting and fruitful (both personally and professionally), as that is what it means to be part of the MCDM/A family. Indeed, it looks like a ritual because “it involves a sequence of activities covering learning, entertainment, ‘bonding’ (what?), performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence” (Someone else et al., n.d.). Well, please understand, as a PhD student I had to make a citation. Actually, looking back, it is only natural to happen this way, and so it is actually not unexpected at all, and somehow greatly compensates all the efforts put forth. Thank you MCDM/A society, organizing committee, lecturers, fellow participants, and all the others involved, for this unforgetful experience. And thank you reader, for reading this boring report as it does no justice to what happened!
Nadya R. Galo, Universidade de São Paulo (São Carlos), Brazil
It was a wonderful experience attending the 12th MCDA/M Summer School. The organization was perfect and the professors were amazing. The Summer School has opened my mind to new avenues in the academic world. Added to this, I made friends from all over the world and I lived personal enriching moments. I am grateful for this opportunity.
Marlon Braun, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Institute AIFB, Germany
The MCDM/A summer school was by far the best experience I have had in the two and a half years, since I have started my PhD. Having the opportunity to attend lectures given by the brightest minds in our field was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Exchanging ideas with these experts and engaging in light-hearted conversations was a privilege and pleasure at the same time. Even after doing research in MCDM for nearly five years now, there were so many new concepts, techniques and ideas I have learned during these two weeks. This knowledge will greatly help me in future research endeavors and also in successfully finishing my PhD. The memories I will treasure most are those of the new friends I have made and the crazy adventures we have shared. I met all these fellow PhD students for the first time at the summer school, but when returning home, I already had the feeling as if I had known them for an entire lifetime. Connecting with so many like-minded people not only on a professional, but especially on an emotional level was an experience I will never forget. Our group has become a little family over these two weeks and we are already making plans to engage in joint research projects and to visit each other. I cannot thank the organizers of the MCDM/A summer school enough for making all this possible and for letting me be part of this amazing experience.
Sonja Rohmer, Wageningen University – Social Sciences, The Netherlands
Back in the Netherlands many people have asked me about my experience at the MCDA/M summer school in Recife, but how is it even possible to put it into words and do all of it justice.So how do I start? It has been two great weeks in Brazil, 13 renowned lecturers, numerous interesting talks, 2 museums, 1 banquet, many late nights (with countless beers) and 44 inspired minds. But while this gives a great overview over the general program it hardly captures the true spirit of the summer school. We all started with great expectations, each of us having their own objectives in mind, but during these two weeks, filled with knowledge exchange and scientific expertise, we grew together as a group and didn’t only meet these expectations but we exceeded them. As part of the program, we got the chance to meet the “legends” in our field and while we got to pick their brilliant minds, listen to stimulating scientific presentations and exchange our views on Brazilian art with them, we also realised that they are talented dancers, showmen and just generally really nice people to have a laugh with. However, while the program itself was a challenging and inspiring experience that surely contributed to our scientific development, the heart of this summer school were the people and especially all my fellow young researchers. We came from many different countries, backgrounds and cultures, covering a variety of scientific topics, learned from each other and laughed together. Over these two weeks we became a small MCDM family and built friendships for life. The memories of the summer school will tie us together forever and hopefully many of us will continue to work together for a long time building the future of the MCDM society. I want to thank all of you for making this stay in Brazil so unforgettable, for the time we shared and the knowledge, skills and experience we gained. It was awesome. Stay in touch and break a leg (or a wrist).