Jules van Ligtenberg

Stuck on a problem? Need a fresh pair of eyes?

For more than 25 years I worked as a business analyst and programmer in IT. Most of my work consisted of listening to a client, analyzing the problem, making a design and programming it. Over the years, I found that I added the most value by listening to the client and analyzing the problem. So I started to shift my attention towards problem solving in general.

Which factors have been constant in my approach to problems?

Hands-on and theoretical at the same time:

A client had a problem with air bubbles in concrete. In order to find a solution to this problem I started mixing concrete in my office, delved into the essential chemical formulas and worked through various abstract problem solving techniques (to solve the problem without changing the concrete) all at the same time.

Anything goes:

Together with a business partner I competed in the ALS Prediction Challenge, a challenge to make predictions about the progression of this disease in individual patients, based on a large dataset. Although this subject is very scientific in nature, I found some "unscientific" and unconventional shortcuts which improved our predictions dramatically.

Focus on the relevant aspects of the problem:

While I am always trying to get as much information about the problem as possible I seem to focus automatically on the relevant aspects of the problem at hand and filter out a lot of the other details. Once a company stuck on a problem came to me for a solution. After having presented their problem, the delegation was impressed that I was able to find a breakthrough solution they have been using since. Afterwards I realized somewhat embarrassed that, because of my focus on the problem, I wasn't even able to tell what it was the company did.

Strongly motivated and enthusiastic:

I always get very enthusiastic and motivated when I encounter a good challenge. For me some criteria of a good challenge are: almost impossible to solve, possible application of Machine Learning and a fixed deadline. Flight Quest, a quest to predict flight arrival times based on a large collection of data, met those criteria. While competing in it - I had to ensure to take enough breaks, to get the best possible result.


BSc Artificial Intelligence cum laude - University of Amsterdam (2007)

Work experience

I worked as programmer, business analyst and problem solver, amongst many others, for:

Kaggle.com - Did various challenges and became a Kaggle Master (2013 - present)
Innocentive.com - ALS Prediction Challenge (2012), Publication Nature Biotechnology (2014)
Tax Terug B.V. - Founder, automated tax refund via www.taxterug.nl (2009 - present)
Erasmus Medical Center (2005 - 2006)
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1998 - 2004)
ING Bank (1990 - 1997)

Would you like me to help solve your problem? Call me now to make an appointment!

Jules van Ligtenberg BSc
Donker Curtiusstraat 7 unit 218
1051 JL Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 20 4886835
E-mail: julesvanligtenberg@tiscali.nl

Page last modified on November 6, 2014