Oct 14, 2015

In the Company of a Great Mind- Prof. Gil Alana addresses Econometrics

Recently, the School of Finance and Applied Economics (SFAE) fourth year students were highly privileged to have a visiting lecturer from the University of Navarra, Spain. He was introduced to us as Professor Luis Alberiko Gil Alana, and his relatively tongue friendly name was only the beginning of our intrigues. Professor Alberiko is an alumnus of the London School of Economics, where he completed a Ph.D. in the area of Econometrics and Quantitative methods, achieving a distinction in each one of his modules. As if we weren’t intrigued enough, it was revealed to us that the professor’s achievements put him in receipt of an honorary gift from the Queen.


We were well aware of how important these sessions would be to our understanding of time series analysis and how much effort we had to put into understanding his lectures, but thankfully he made it very easy for us. By the end of the 12 hour session (spread over the three days), the professor afforded us a very good understanding of various concepts in Econometrics, which include: ARMA models, Estimation, Seasonality, Prediction, Nonstationary and structural Time Series, and Frequency Domain analysis. It wasn’t just the fact that he made do with such little time to make the above mentioned concepts clearer and more understandable to us, but it was also the patience that was exercised by one of the best econometricians in the world (and the wealth of material that he shared with us) that made us appreciate the sessions more.


Professor Gil Alana became the embodiment of everything that most of us SFAE students want to be, especially those of us who hope to be academicians. Not only did he leave us with an incredibly above average understanding of econometrics, but he also lifted our spirits and enforced the idea that there is nothing wrong with being uniquely brilliant and letting that brilliance shine.


Story by Douglas Lang’at (BBS Financial Economics)


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