Monday, September 1, 2014

IIF Student Forecasting Awards for Energy Analytics

Today is Labor Day. Thanks to the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), I received my first Labor Day gift, an email notification of the IIF student forecasting award for five years.

While the interested readers can get the details from the IIF website, here are a few highlights:

  • The awards are offered by the IIF to the top-performing students in undergraduate and graduate level forecasting courses. 
  • No more than 20 awards are available across all universities. 
  • No more than one subject can be eligible for an IIF award at the same university. 
  • Each star student will receive $100, a Certificate of Achievement from the IIF, and one year’s free membership of the Institute, with all its attendant benefits. 
According to Rob Hyndman, this is a new award program established after ISF2014. I am fortunate and honored to have my graduate-level course, Energy Analytics, be the only subject from UNC Charlotte and one of the first courses across the globe accepted for this IIF award. In other words, every year, the best student of my Energy Analytics class will join the awardee list with several other star students from different universities worldwide. Given the demanding nature of this course, I strongly believe that this best student really deserves such a prestigious award.

Rather than just showing off my Labor Day gift, I would love to share my lessons learned from this experience:

1. Open to opportunities. 

I would have never known this opportunity if I had not subscribed to Hyndsight. I also subscribed to several other blogs, LinkedIn Groups and email lists, where I have learned a lot over the past years. Although I never expect to make some money out of these subscriptions. sometimes miracle happens. For the convenience of the audience here, I listed several feeds to forecasting blogs on the right side bar under "my blog list". In addition, the interested readers of my blog can subscribe to the monthly Energy Forecasting Digest and/or a more timely update on the right side bar.

2. Get yourself prepared. 

I would have never won anything unless I was well prepared for the opportunities. Since I can hardly anticipate the future opportunities, I have to try my best in everything I do. This course is the third new course I have developed since I joined UNC Charlotte last year. It is being offered for the first time this fall. I had the syllabus posted on my personal webpage long time ago. After reading the instructions on IIF website, all I needed to do was to send a brief email with a link to the course syllabus to Pam Stroud, the business director of IIF.

3. Money is not the only measure.

This is by far the smallest award I have got in terms of money, In fact, not a penny will come to my pocket. The awards will be offered to my students. Nevertheless, this is probably one of the happiest award-winning moments I have experienced. Rob posted the announcement of SAS/IIF grants ($5,000 per award) a few days earlier than the post of student awards . It is a small grant too, but the size is 50 times of a student award. Moreover, the funding will come to my research account if I won it. It took me almost no time to decide to pass the SAS/IIF research grant -- I knew I wouldn't be as happy as I am now if I had won that $5,000. In front of an opportunity, I always consider more factors than just money, such as the time I'm investing to chase the deal, the responsibility I have to take to complete the project, the potential benefits (e.g., learning new things, promoting existing work, etc.) I can get, and other competing commitments I already have.

Happy Labor Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note that you may link to your LinkedIn profile if you choose Name/URL option.