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Conversation with a Hindawi Editor: Professor Thomas Hanne

Conversation with an Editor

Mathematical Problems in Engineering is a broad-based journal publishing results of rigorous engineering research across all disciplines, carried out using mathematical tools. We spoke with Thomas Hanne, Academic Editor of the journal to find out more.

We are pleased to have spoken with Professor Thomas Hanne, Academic Editor of Mathematical Problems in Engineering, from University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, about his work. In this blog, you will learn about his experience working with the journal and what he considers to be the most important topics in his field. 

Mathematical Problems in Engineering is a broad-based journal publishing results of rigorous engineering research across all disciplines, carried out using mathematical tools. The Chief Editor of the journal is Professor Guangming Xie from Peking University.  

When did you become an editor, and what were your first impressions?  

I became an editor of Mathematical Problems in Engineering in 2014. I was not familiar with the journal before that time and was a bit skeptical whether I might fit well as engineering is not one of my main backgrounds. In the beginning, I was mainly asked to provide my opinion about Special Issue proposals and learned that many topics proposed overlapped with my expertise and interests. In fact, the area covered by the journal is large and the journal staff does an excellent job in assigning tasks to suitable editors and helping them during the administrative processes. 

How do you think articles published in Mathematical Problems in Engineering are of scientific importance to your field? 

Mathematical Problems in Engineering covers a large scope and publishes more than 1000 articles per year. I think this is the right strategy as the number of submitted papers in the field is exponentially increasing.  

There are other journals that are not able to adapt to the increasing research output. Consequently, many papers of sufficient quality cannot be published in those journals and are often rejected without sufficient evidence of the reasons.  

Mathematical Problems in Engineering does not have this problem and it manages an increasing number of publications while maintaining high quality standards. The journal is indexed by all major services including Scopus and the Science Citation Index Expanded and has an impact factor of 1.305 and a Citescore of 1.800.* 

Does the prospect of publishing in this journal make it easier to find and form collaborations with researchers overseas? 

The mentioned geographic diversity of authors (and probably readers as well due to the OA publishing model) can be assumed to be a positive factor for possible collaborations. On the other hand, we live in general in a highly globalized academic world. This strong trend already started in the 1990s fostered by the increased use of the Internet. For me, there is not much difference between working with a colleague from my university or colleagues in China, India, Iran, or Spain, for instance. This holds even more during the Covid-19 period of working from our home offices. 

What do you consider to be the most important topics in your field? 

I would say that there are two main guiding paradigms related to my research areas The first topic is NP-hard problems, which make up the majority of practically relevant combinatorial optimization problems in business, engineering, and various other fields.  

The second main topic is machine learning. I was already excited by neural networks during the 1980s and when becoming a scientific assistant in the early 1990s. But then it became silent around these topics, and I lost interest. The interest re-appeared with the remarkable successes of deep learning approaches in many areas, and I assume that this boom period will continue. The two areas, evolutionary algorithms (with swarm intelligence) and neural networks together with fuzzy sets make up the field called computational intelligence which is my main field of research.

Learn more about Mathematical Problems in Engineering >> 


*Journal metrics for Mathematical Problems in Engineering 

  • 2020 Citescore: 1.800 
  • The journal received 15,360 citations from articles published in other journals in 2020 (for all published articles)   
  • 2020 Journal Impact Factor: 1.305 (29% increase vs 2019)  
  • Journal Citation Index: 0.40 (Q2 in Engineering, Multidisciplinary)  
  • Acceptance rate: 27%  
  • Submission to final decision: 64 days  
  • Acceptance to publication: 34 days

This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by David Jury.

Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.