Day 8: Cargo & Cryptos

After a relaxing weekend in Paphos, it was time to resume our usual company visits for the new week. We departed from our hotel at 9AM for a quick trip to the University of Nicosia for the day. For our morning presentation, we heard from two representatives of Fleet Management Limited. This global company does not own ships but rather has contracts with the owners to manage them. We discussed the types and sizes of ships, various ports across the world, and the importance of maritime shipping compared to aviation or transport by land (trains). Also, we were given many different interesting numerical facts regarding shipping, my favorite being that 8,000 shoeboxes can fit into a 20ft container.

Following this company presentation and a filling lunch at The Block, we received a lecture on blockchain and cryptocurrency from Mr. Antonis Polemitis, the CEO of UNIC. The University of Nicosia was the first university to accept bitcoin as a form of tuition, and they have a master’s program in digital currencies. Mr. Polemitis delivered some great points on these topics discussing the difference between a centralized and decentralized system, defining the term “fungible,” and diving into the world of NFT’s, a digital asset such as art, music, or videos which are stored in blockchain. Also, systems and protocols were discussed, and there were some great insights about the government connection to digital currency and the digitized future in which we are headed. Next, for our second afternoon visit, we heard from Dr. Spyros Makridakis, Director of UNIC’s Institute for the Future. This content was equally as appealing because I learned about data forecasting, specifically accuracy with prediction and calculating the unknown. Although we didn’t dive into the actual forecasting methods, he applied real-world examples such as the supply of Walmart’s inventory and the use of machine learning. Additionally, Dr. Makridakis presented the M1-M6 competitions which are “duathlons” that attract data scientists, financial experts, etc. to model trends in the market and returns on investment based on real data in hopes for a monetary prize.

Overall, today was quite eye-opening and informative, and I am excited about our visit to the Famagusta tomorrow!

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