Anapa city tour
Anapa city tour

A memorable week full of new experiences, friends, and knowledge

Great knowledge sharing is the main objective of the Moscow Konstanz Summer School on Econometrics and Machine Learning. This year, it took place at the Recreation Center of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Anapa on the Black Sea from 22 to 29 September 2019.

In total, nine students from the University of Konstanz, accompanied by Prof. Winfried Pohlmeier and Jun. Prof. Lyudmila Grigoryeva, travelled to the Black Sea and participated together with fellow students and professors of the Plekhanov University in the Summer School.

During the week, information and knowledge regarding theory and applications in econometrics and machine learning were exchanged. The Summer School started with a warm welcome address from both universities and was followed by a lecture of Prof. Winfried Pohlmeier on the comparison of econometrics and machine learning. Similarly, all other professors held interesting lectures in the following days. Associate Prof. Nikita Moiseev presented simultaneous forecasting of linearly dependent random variables by maximum likelihood estimation and Junior Prof. Lyudmila Grigoryeva introduced neural networks and their applications and empirical performance. The master students from the University of Konstanz presented papers they prepared for the Econometrics and Machine Learning Seminar, and the PhD students gave insights into their current and previous work.

Equivalently, the students from the Plekhanov University showed their results. The focus of the presentations from the fellow students of the Plekhanov University lied on real-world applications like the impact of political events on currency markets, methods of risk assessment of terrorist acts in Russia, scoring models for the prediction of drug addiction in different regions in Russia based on socio-economic factors, and evaluation methods in management of demographic depopulation in Russia. Some students of the University of Konstanz concentrated on neural networks and explored their applications in option pricing and market risk as well as on inference. Other presentations focused on econometric network analysis and theory and application of the graphical lasso. All students were invited to ask questions after each presentation and to participate in the discussion. In addition, suggestions or different opinions on the respective work were well received and in this way every participant of the Summer School was able to broaden his or her academic horizon.

Another important aspect of the Summer School is intercultural exchange. Most of the students from the University of Konstanz had never travelled to Russia before, and vice versa. Therefore, many stories about the way of life in these different countries were shared. Additionally, some social activities took place throughout the week. A pleasant guided tour to the city center of Anapa gave us the opportunity to learn more about the history and sights of Anapa as well as to organize money and mobile data. Another excursion took us to Abrau-Durso, the center of Russia’s most important wine-growing region. In the winery we were able to explore the process of making wine and to participate in a wine tasting. On the last evening, we all went to a Georgian restaurant, had amazing food, and celebrated the birthday of a participant of the Summer School. In the end, it was a memorable week full of new experiences, friends, and knowledge.

Comments from the participants
Die gemeinsame Summer School der Plekhanov University und der Universität Konstanz bot eine ideale Kombination aus akademischem und kulturellem Austausch. Nicht nur ermöglichte sie die Präsentation und Diskussion von Forschungsergebnissen in freundschaftlicher Atmosphäre, sondern gewährte auch die Zeit zu persönlichen Gesprächen zwischen den Studierenden und Professoren der beiden Universitäten, sowie zu gemeinsamen Freizeitaktivitäten. Diese gelungene Verbindung machte die Summer School zu einem bereichernden und motivierenden Event, das in bester Erinnerung bleiben wird.
(Gerhard Fechteler, Ph.D. student)
The summer school in Anapa was really great. Exchanging information and experiences with our Russian friends was interesting and delightful. The organizers from the Russian side were so friendly and welcoming. Furthermore, we learned a lot from the materials presented. All in all, participating in the summer school is always a pleasure.
(Livia Shkoza, Ph.D. student)

(Text: Silke Husse)