A Day at the University

Today was an academic day, where we spent our time at the University of Nicosia.

To start the day, we heard from a ship management company that was based in Hong kong. This was an interactive and fun session, where they quizzed us throughout. One interesting fact I learned was that 800 boxes of shoes can fit in a standard shipping container.

We then heard from the CEO of the university who talked about cryptocurrency. Being a finance major, I was excited about this talk and I believe I learned a lot from it. He explained how they were the first college to ever start a cryptocurrency and blockchain program back in 2014. The main thing he stressed was how crypto would decentralize databases so that not one person has sole control over them. In the current version of the internet, databases such as social media platforms are controlled by one person who can decide who is and isn’t allowed on the platform. This concept could be seen as being incompatible with democracy as one person has absolute power and could control free speech. The implementation of blockchain technologies is seen as the new phase of the internet, where information is democratized. Although he didn’t explain exactly how he explained that blockchain is a technology that solved the problem of how to decentralize databases across the world. Another part of his talk that I found fascinating was the future of technology. According to him, the next phase of technological progress will be to make the experience of technology way more immersive. The way it is now, you have to view some sort of screen in order to experience technology. This barrier will eventually be errored where our field of view itself will become digital through electronic sunglasses. 

Lastly, we heard from one of the worlds leading experts on forecasting. The field of forecasting is one that I admittedly knew nothing about until today. Forecasting essentially seeks to predict future events with a high level of accuracy in order to maximize profits. For example, when you go into Walmart, every single product there has been through the forecasting process, meaning someone out there believes that it is a product that is in need and people will want to buy it. The focus of his presentation was on the different contests he created in order to figure out which forecasting method was best. When he first started the competition, it turned out that what was thought to be the best method was actually not as effective as simpler and more straightforward methods of data forecasting. This meeting taught me the importance of the scientific method and to always question my assumptions. These competitions are still going on to this day, with a heavier emphasis on machine learning.

Today I learned exciting information about the future of information and technology.

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