Spyros Makridakis is a professor of the University of Nicosia UNIC where he is the Director of the Institute for the Future (IFF) and an Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD as well as the University of Piraeus and one of the world's leading experts on forecasting, with many journal articles and books on the subject. He is famous as the organizer of the Makridakis Competitions, known in the forecasting literature as the M-Competitions.
Makridakis was part of the Greek Sailing Team in the 1960 Olympic Games and studied at the Graduate School of Industrial Studies in Piraeus (University of Piraeus, present name). After that, he joined New York University where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1969. He has held a number of teaching and research positions including positions as research fellow at IIM Berlin and Stanford University and a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT. He joined INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France) in 1970 and is currently the Rector of the Neapolis University of Pafos NUP in Cyprus and an Emeritus Professor at INSEAD that he joined in 1970. In addition to teaching and consulting expertise, he has also authored, or co-authored, 24 books including Forecasting, Planning and Strategy for the 21st Century (The Free Press), Forecasting: Methods and Applications, 3rd ed. and Forecasting Methods for Management, 5th ed. (Wiley, translated in twelve languages and sold more than 120,000 copies). He has also published more than 120 articles and book chapters. He was the founding chief editor of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting. Furthermore, he has won the “Best Teacher Award” at INSEAD twice. Spyros’ current interest centers on the uses and limitations of forecasting and what we can do with the resulting uncertainty and risk given our inability to accurately predict a wide range of future events (e.g. the 2000 burst of the Internet bubble or the 2007-2009 major financial crisis). In addition, he is interested in medical decision making by comparing the costs and benefits of treatment. These and similar issues are dealt with in the book Dance with Chance: Making Luck Work for You (co-authored with Robin Hogarth and Anil Gaba) and in a special issue of the International Journal of Forecasting on “Decision Making and Planning Under Low Levels of Predictability” (co-edited with Nassim Taleb).
Contributions to forecasting
Empirical testing of forecasting accuracy through competitions and time series compilation
A 1979 paper by Makridakis and Hibon compared 111 time series from a variety of different sources in order to determine the relative accuracy of different forecasting methods, and came to the conclusion that simple methods, such as exponential smoothing, outperformed complicated ones. This was followed with publication of results from three Makridakis Competitions: the M-competition in 1982, the M-2 competition in 1993, and the M-3 competition in 2000.
Service to the forecasting community
Apart from organizing the Makridakis Competitions, Makridakis was one of the founders and the first editor-in-chief of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting, a publication of the International Institute of Forecasters (he was editor-in-chief from 1982 to 1987).
Books and popular articles
Makridakis is author of a number of books on forecasting and statistical techniques including:
- Dance with Chance with Robin Hogarth and Anil Gaba (2010): The book is aimed at a general audience. The authors also appeared in a video along with Nassim Nicholas Taleb to discuss the implications of the themes of the book.
- Forecasting: Methods and Applications (3rd Edition) with Steven C. Wheelwright and Rob J. Hyndman (1983)
- Forecasting, Planning and Strategies for the 21st Century (1990) and
- Forecasting Methods for Management with Steve Wheelright (1990) that has been translated in twelve languages and has sold more than 120,000 copies.
- "Spyros Makridakis". INSEAD. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Spyros G. Makridakis". Amazon. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Makridakis, Spyros; Hibon, Michele (October–December 2000). "The M-3 Competition: results, conclusions, and implications" (PDF). International Journal of Forecasting. International Institute of Forecasters and Elsevier. doi:10.1016/S0169-2070(00)00057-1. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Koning, Alex J.; Frances, Philip Hans; Hibon, Michele; Stekler, H. O. (July–September 2005). "The M3 competition: Statistical tests of the results". International Journal of Forecasting. International Institute of Forecasters in collaboration with Elsevier. doi:10.1016/j.ijforecast.2004.10.003.
- Hyndman, Rob J.; Koehler, Anne B. (October–December 2006). "Another look at measures of forecast accuracy". International Journal of Forecasting. International Institute of Forecasters in collaboration with Elsevier. 22 (4). Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "M3-competition (full data)". International Institute of Forecasters. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Makridakis, Spyros; Hibon, Michele (1979). "Accuracy of forecasting: an empirical investigation (with discussion)". A 142. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: 97–145.
- Spyros Makridakis; et al. (April–June 1982). "The accuracy of extrapolation (time series) methods: results of a forecasting competition". 1 (2). Journal of Forecasting: 111–153. doi:10.1002/for.3980010202.
- Newbold, Paul (1983). "The competition to end all competitions". 2. Journal of Forecasting: 276–279.
- Spyros Makridakis; et al. (April 1993). "The M-2 Competition: a real-time judgmentally based forecasting study". 9. International Journal of Forecasting: 5–22. doi:10.1016/0169-2070(93)90044-N.
- "Past Editors". International Institute of Forecasters, International Journal of Forecasting section. Archived from the original on 2011-02-10.
- "Randomness Activists". September 11, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Makridakis, Spyros; Hogarth, Robin M.; Gaba, Anil (January 1, 2010). "Why Forecasts Fail. What to Do Instead". MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved April 19, 2014.