Sunday, October 6, 2013

Electric Load Forecasting @OTexts

I had the idea of writing a book on electric load forecasting three years ago. When I discussed the idea with my mentor Jim Burke, he said, "It took me 25 years to write my book." Jim basically indicated that I did not have enough experience for a book. Instead, he encouraged me to start teaching the subject to gain more experience. This is probably the second most valuable advice I got from him. (read The Most Valuable Advice I Got from Jim Burke)
Although I was quite confident to write a useful book, I did follow Jim's advice as always. I started developing a course, "Electric Load Forecasting: Fundamentals and Best Practices". Over the last two years, I taught this course 11 times. Meanwhile, I also taught each section of the course numerous times as guest lectures, conference talks, workshops and tutorials. Jim was right: the more I taught the subject, the more I learned. A few months ago, I asked Jim again when I should start writing the book. This time, instead of letting me wait for another 22 years, he suggested me to start right now, piece by piece.
Originally Dr. David Dickey and I was going to publish the book with a traditional publisher. After seeing Rob's online forecasting textbook, we both agreed that a broad circulation is more important than a few hundred bucks of royalty paycheck. Therefore, we decided to publish our book with OTexts.
A cool feature of OTexts is the interaction between the authors and readers. While writing the book, we can revise it based on the comments from the readers. I believe such a collaborative effort would greatly enhance the readability and usefulness of the book. Now on OTexts, you can see a preface and an outline. I will try to upload one chapter per month. Hopefully we can finish the book by the end of 2014 or early 2015. You are more than welcome to leave your comments either on the book page or via an email to me.
Happy forecasting!

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