Today we spent the day at the University of Nicosia. At the beginning of the day, we met with a company named Fleet Management Limited (FML). They are the second largest third-party ship management company. They manage all types of ships and have twenty-six offices around the world. FML signs contracts with ship owners to deliver cargo around the world. FML currently has 20,000 seafarers; however, only about one hundred of them are women. I thought this was very interesting. They then elaborated that they are advocating for more women to start working on their ships. They are hoping for about 10-15% of their workforce to be women compared to the number they have now.

Next, we attended a lecture by Antonis Polemitis, the CEO of the University of Nicosia. The lecture was on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. The university of Nicosia first accepted Bitcoin as a form of currency in 2013, and then established their first master’s degree in digital currency in 2014. There are very few schools that offer this around the world, which is very interesting. The main take away from this lecture is that Bitcoin is up to the users. There are no administrators that regulate use. So, it is free to use like emails and not a “regulated app” like Twitter. One thing that is important to remember about Bitcoin is that it only takes a few hours to transfer, and no one can reverse it. It is digital cash. As technology evolves in the next few years, Cryptocurrency can be used for machine-to-machine transactions. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Lastly, we attended a second lecture by Spyros Makridakis. He is the leading data forecaster in the world and is the founder of the M-forecasting competition. The M6 competition is currently taking place. The purpose of this competition is to take all the statisticians and forecasters in the world and find which way is the best way to forecast data. Over the course of the five previous competitions the forecasters have learned that they cannot predict the future as if it is going to be a perfect replication of the past. Since everything is constantly changing the forecasters must be able to adapt to the changing times. They also learned that sophisticated methods are not always more accurate than simple methods, that combining methods does not always produce better results than simple methods used on their own, and that machines can work longer using more sophisticated methods and possibly produce better results. After learning about so many different technological advancements today, I am interested to see how this new technology will affect our daily lives in the near future.

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