A civil engineering lecturer from Wits University, Charles MacRobert, submits that Germany, followed by Brazil and Belgium has the best chances of winning the 2018 World Cup when using civil engineering influenced predictive tools. But this prediction comes with a heavy dose of disclaimers.
His top five, of a top 16 list, is capped by Portugal and Argentina. France is sixth followed by Switzerland, Poland and Spain. Peru caps the top 10.
In an article he wrote for The Conversation Africa, MacRobert submits that “As a civil engineer I’m fascinated by predictions of who will win the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, seeing that we use predictions on a regular basis in engineering.”
He notes different predictive approaches, from the quirky animal “predictions” to football experts. Intuition, says MacRobert, guides most of the predictions about which team will lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. “Often our intuitions can be wrong as they are based on heuristics (rules of thumb) or biases (prejudices).”
He points out that intuition is sometimes seen as unscientific but recent research has shown that it is often vital to making decisions. Professionals in my field of civil engineering, says MacRobert, make decisions about how structures behave when loaded. “For example how an office block’s foundations will behave when loaded by users. This often requires using intuition to interpret data.”
Intuitive expertise can only develop in environments in which there are stable relationships between identifiable cues and events. “Cues in football could be relative team rankings and events could be wins or losses.
“Cues in civil engineering could be material strengths and outcomes could be structures that do not fail. Individuals still require time to learn patterns in “high validity” environments, such as civil engineering, but judgements in such environments can often be trusted.”
Moving from that view, he then employed 20 000 simulations of the upcoming FIFA World Cup, based on the current FIFA rankings, to make a prediction of the top 16 teams that could win the 2018 World Cup. The other six teams in the top 16 are Uruguay, England, Denmark, Mexico, Colombia and Croatia.
But don’t count on it too much. The point is too have fun.
This article was first published in SATopShops