Press Release

30.04.2020

Professor Spyros Makridakis Awarded by Amazon

The highly competitive Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning Research Awards recognised UNIC’s very own Professor Spyros Makridakis for his exemplary work in the field and for his upcoming research project in collaboration with Amazon, honouring in this way one of the foundational figures of Forecasting.

More specifically, Professor Makridakis’ proposal on “Clustered Ensemble of Specialist Amazon GluonTS Models for Time Series Forecasting” was chosen to be funded by the AWS Machine Learning Research Awards program, through which Professor Makridakis will be conducting research into improving Amazon’s forecasting software and, ultimately, forecasting accuracy, using Machine/Deep Learning (a form of AI).

Amazon has been an invaluable partner to Professor Makridakis and to UNIC, sponsoring the M4 Forecasting Competition in 2018. The M (or Makridakis) Competitions are the brainchild of Professor Makridakis, an initiative spanning almost four decades, with iterations taking place in 1982 (M1), 1993 (M2), 2000 (M3) and 2018 (M4). The current M5 Competition, launched in partnership with Walmart and Kaggle, is well underway (running till 30 June 2020) with 25,000 thousand participants to date.

Commenting on the award, Professor Makridakis, the Director of the Makridakis Open Forecasting Center (MOFC) at UNIC, thanked Amazon for their trust and support. “I am extremely grateful to Amazon for their continued support of my research, fuelling my passion for the field and supporting my endeavours in advancing both the theory and practice of Forecasting”. Professor Makridakis also noted how the AWS Award is indicative of the cutting-edge research MOFC conducts on Forecasting. As a leading academic forecasting center, MOFC assists organizations make accurate predictions, estimate levels of uncertainty, and manage risk through training, research, technology development, and consulting. “Ultimately, MOFC aims to expand the utilization and value of Forecasting among business firms”, concluded Professor Makridakis.

In addition to being a huge honour, the AWS Award comes with a cash gift of 35,000USD and an additional 120,000USD in Amazon Web Services Promotional Credits.