“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future"

January 13, 2009
A Presentation by Robert Thomas

The title of this presentation borrows a quote from Niels Bohr. The seminal article The Combination ofForecasts by Bates and Granger (1969) led to an explosion in the number of publications on combining forecasts. Clemen (1989) provided a review in Combining forecasts: A review and annotated bibliography, Journal of Forecasting. The primary conclusion is that “combining” is a good thing that can, in many cases, improve forecast accuracy. Furthermore, simple combination methods often work reasonably well relative to more complex combinations. Through a series of examples Mr. Thomas supports the notion that combining is a good thing.

Mr. Bob Thomas is a statistical engineering senior technical specialist at Ford Motor Company. He currently works in the North America Vehicle Engineering Department. Bob regularly works with engineering teams applying statistical engineering technology during the overall development and delivery of attributes for vehicle line clusters including: noise and vibration, vehicle dynamics, core powertrain, weight, heat protection and aerodynamics. Bob’s efforts for the last year and a half have included forecasting and improving vehicle line performance based on external publication assessments.

Raised in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Bob now lives with his wife of 25 years, Maureen, in Brighton, Michigan. They have 2 children, Nate and Darcie who are attending Michigan Technological University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology respectively. Bob has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Detroit as well as a degree in Applied Statistics from Oakland University. Additionally, he has been the recipient of two outstanding publication awards from the Society of Experimental Mechanics and the Society of Automotive Engineering as well as Ford Motor Company’s coveted Henry Ford Technology Award.


 Ellen Barnes giving Bob Thomas a Certificate of Appreciation from the Detroit Chapter