Thomas Is a Fearless Seeker

BCG GAMMA Lead Data Scientist, Paris

At BCG, Seekers go deep into the challenging issues our clients face. Their curiosity empowers our teams to facilitate change and add value to society. Thomas is unafraid to try new things.

BCG offers all the conditions needed for solving problems in the right way, from both a technical and practical perspective.

Thomas Lewiner

In Thomas’s Words

My focus has always been on science, and I have over 15 years’ experience as a researcher and professor in mathematics and computer sciences. The greatest motivation for me during that time has been to create impact from that knowledge—first for my students, helping them to realize their ambitions, but also through many research projects with social partners in Brazil and in the oil industry. BCG now offers me ways to amplify this impact, within the BCG GAMMA team and for our clients in many industries.

BCG GAMMA surprised me by considering the application of someone with a very academic background like mine. This open-mindedness has been key to creating the wonderful team we have at BCG GAMMA. The intentional diversity of our team, combined with the very high quality of each member, creates a fantastic source of intellectual stimulation for me.

About Thomas

Thomas has been a professor and researcher in mathematics and computer sciences for more than ten years. He was elected as an affiliated member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He holds two PhDs, one in computer sciences from INRIA/Paris VI and one in applied mathematics from PUC Rio de Janeiro. He received an MSc from Telecom-ParisTech and from PUC-Rio after graduating as an engineer of the École Polytechnique with a major in physics.

Why did you choose to work at BCG GAMMA?

To be fully honest, I did not know precisely at the time I joined BCG GAMMA why I wanted to join. It sounded like a very exciting adventure. Now that I know the beginning of the story, I would certainly choose BCG GAMMA again for many rational reasons. It is the best place to keep pace with developments in data science while also staying connected to real-world problems.

How do you get to utilize your unique skill set within a team?

I work on cases as the lead data scientist and internally as a scientific referee, keeping the link between groundwork and more purely technical contributions.

How does BCG GAMMA fit into BCG as a whole?

BCG GAMMA is clearly the spearhead of BCG’s offerings today, with deeply rooted interactions with the other consulting teams at BCG.

What did you learn in your first year on the job?

My first learning was to look for the best tradeoff between time spent and performance achieved. For analytical work, the 80/20 rule is quite natural, but for modeling, there is no off-the-shelf solution. We developed specific approaches with the BCG GAMMA team, some more focused on machine learning, others tailored to optimization context. I also discovered that some very academic practices are actually well suited to BCG GAMMA. In particular, we started a regular seminar to complement each other’s areas of specialty, and we enjoy the technical partnership with more fundamental researchers.

What is something that has surprised you about working at BCG?

It is much closer to academia than I expected. The organization is led by partners acting almost like professors at a university. This gives us a lot of flexibility to import academic practices, such as seminars and reading groups, that help us maintain our technical levels.

Thomas Is a Fearless Seeker