day 8

Today started off like any other: 7 am with breakfast at the hotel. At 8:00 am, we went to the University of Nicosia to have a meeting with Fleet Management Limited. It was honestly not the most interesting meeting to me as I am not terribly interested in shipping, but it was cool to learn about some of the fun facts that were told at the meeting. One thing I learned was that a ship travels about 360 miles every day!

Next, we got food at the university, but not after stopping by the university merch store to see what they had (I did not get anything though). After lunch, we had a meeting with Mr. Antonis Polemitis, CEO of the university. This meeting was about blockchain and cryptocurrency. This was definitely my favorite meeting so far. I am very interesting in this topic (real-world technology topics) and I certainly learned a lot. I learned about what exactly Bitcoin is and what it holds for the future. It is essentially a digital currency that forms a decentralized system where there is no person “in charge” like what we see in banking. It allows for instant transactions with no charge back like you see with credit cards. I also learned about Ethereum and the smart contracts it allows for. It also allows for permissionless computer programs, something else I am very interested in and am actually working on right now! Lastly, I learned about decentralized finance, or defi for short. A good example of this is Uniswap, a cryptocurrency exchange which uses a decentralized network protocol. All of these topics and very pertinent to my life and my future, so I am very glad to be learning more about it (yes, when I learn about interesting topics, I actually write an in-depth blog post ;))

The next and last meeting for the day was with Dr. Spyros Makridakis, Director of UNIC’s Institute for the Future. He hosts different competitions related to forecasting titled m4, m5, and m6. They all allow for advanced statisticians to take part and try to figure out difficult forecasting challenges. He presented about forecasting, and I learned a lot about how forecasting is used in many industries today. For example, Walmart uses forecasting to decide what items to put on their shelves, something I never thought forecasting was used for. Other companies like Uber use it to decide what people need to be picked up at what time. Forecasting can also be used to predict changes in the stock market, something very pertinent to today (and my life). There are endless example for how forecasting can be used.

That was all for today. Even though it was mostly meetings, it was extremely interesting! Tomorrow, we will be taking a trip to Famagusta to see the Turkish side of Cyprus. cya!

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