New Policy: Aftercasts discarded

Our sponsor has made the sensible request that we discount forecasts after the answers are known — even if it took us awhile to pause the question. We have now instrumented SciCast to record and show ‘Date Known.’  Forecasts after ‘Date Known’ will still be part of the historical record, but they will neither gain nor lose points. Remember to check this during the mandatory 48-hour comment period following a proposed resolution.  (In the future it may be possible to soften the cutoff, or create a fixed bonus for first correct report of a resolution.)

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Incentives Research (Part 1 of 5)

Because SciCast strives for continual improvement and also needs even more participants and forecasts than in previous years, we have been exploring the effectiveness of incentives, particularly monetary incentives, for increasing the quality of participation in a prediction market.  This post is the first of a five-part series to summarize the first two incentives studies as we start a third.  (Parts of this series of posts are based on previous technical reports unavailable to the public.)  This first post lays out the goals, hypotheses, and background of the incentives studies.  If you’ve been participating in SciCast for a while, you might better understand some of your own experiences after reading this. Continue reading

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Accuracy Contest: First round questions

The first round of questions has been selected for the new accuracy contest. Forecasts on these questions from November 7, 2014, through December 6, 2014, have their market scores calculated and added to a person’s “portfolio.” The best portfolios at a time shortly after March 7, 2015, will win big prizes.

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US Flu Forecast: Exploring links between national and regional level seasonal characteristics

For the flu forecasting challenge (https://scicast.org/flu) participants are required to predict several flu season characteristics, at national and at regional levels (10 HHS regions). For some of the required quantities  such as peak percentage influenza-like illness (ILI), and total seasonal ILI count  one may argue that national level values have some relationship with the regional level ones. Or, in other words participants may be led to believe that national level statistics can be obtained from regional level ones.

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Boo! Shadow forecasts on SciCast

In time for Hallowe’en, we’ve added Shadow Forecasts and other features to help show the awesome power of combo.

  1. Shadowy: when linked forecasts affect a question, we show “Shadow Forecasts” in the history and the trend graph.legend
  2. Pointy: the trend graph now shows one point per forecast instead of just the nightly snapshot.
  3. Chatty: Comment while you forecast.  (But not while you drive.)

Read on for news about upcoming prizes.

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Q&A with SciCaster Julie J.C.H. Ryan

SciCasters represent a variety of communities – academics, professionals, enthusiasts, even students. Find out how one professor built SciCast into her curriculum – and led students by example.

Julie JCH Ryan

Meet SciCaster Julie J.C.H. Ryan, Associate Professor, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, George Washington University.

Q: Why SciCast in the classroom?

I was intrigued by the potential and explored several alternatives with the George Mason folks.  I decided to use SciCast as a practical learning exercise for a tech forecasting course that I was teaching in the spring.  I provide opportunities for students to learn through guided experiences.  I integrate a lot of exercises in my classes so that students are engaged in active learning through incremental explorations of the material.

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Will Philae land successfully on the surface of a comet?

DataSheet_EM_100814-2_01

Background

SciCasters are following the ESA’s International Rosetta Mission and counting down the days of the much-anticipated landing of the Philae on a periodic comet known as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The latest news from ESA states that it will deploy the Philae to the comet on November 12. http://bit.ly/1DQEAcy

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