Day 8: the future is digital

Today, we had meetings all day with various companies and professors at UNIC. The first company we met with was the Fleet Management Company. They are based in Hong Kong and manage over 600 vessels. Their Cyprus branch manages 35 different shipping vessels. I thought it was really cool to be able to talk to the CEO of the company as he gave us much insight into how shipping works and what their company was responsible for. In addition, I thought this was a cool addition to the presentation the BSM training center was because I was able to recognize a lot of the terms the guy was saying. The second presentation with the ship captain was very fun and helped me to understand international shipping really well. I loved how he was asking us questions and keeping us engaged. I learned that the biggest port in the world is Shanghai and 2 TEUs can hold 8,000 shoeboxes. That is a lot more than I imagined. I also learned a lot about how the different merchants, suppliers, and customers interact with each other in a smooth process to move goods on a daily process.

The second meeting was with one of the professions in UNIC’s blockchain and cryptocurrency department. I thought it was amazing how he was able to eloquently explain bitcoin and etherium using real worldly metaphors and examples. I feel as though I understand it better now than I ever did before. In addition, I thought that some of his opinions were kind of radical because of the way he described a future with a complete takeover of digital currency but I do think there are various practical applications of where it can be used to make life better for people. Personally, I believe that while we are digitizing very quickly, human interaction and socialization in person are still very important. And something the world learned after the pandemic is that this interaction is something we cannot live without. And so I think this will slow down the complete digitization of everything because people like the in-person interaction with the people around them.

The last lecture from Professor Makridakis about forecasting was probably my favorite so far. It was really cool to learn about the application of forecasting and how it has transformed over the years and taught people so much about data and how it can be read. I thought that the M competitions were super cool and there was so much to learn from their outcomes. I thought it was super interesting that for the M5 competition an undergraduate student won because it just showed how you don’t need experience you just purely need to be able to look at data and build forecasting models based on the past. I also thought it was cool how over 7,000 people were participating and so there were truly different ways of looking at the data. Finally, I thought it was cool what he said about machine learning and how that is being used nowadays to build better models and it has come really close to predicting the actual data.

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