Dear students and colleagues,

It is beginning of April and weather is getting nicer. Trees are blooming and hopefully COVID is disappearing from the air, leaving space for Spring. At the pace US is vaccinating we should be reaching herd immunity in June. All our students are starting to get the vaccine which is great news.

As promised, I am providing more details about the changes made to the master’s in Financial Analytics. The details of all the courses and the program structure are here: We even have a press release about what motivated changes in the Finance program. Some of the points in the article apply to FA, but our changes are structural not necessarily content wise. The FA program is now adding a highly popular course (Financial Risk Management) to its core courses, as we found that many of our graduates work with Risk Management teams at large corporations. Finally, we added three concentrations. The FINTECH and Machine Learning concentration focuses on using tools to develop and implement complete end-to-end solutions in Finance and other areas. They are suitable for students wanting to develop novel data solutions to old problems. The Data Science and Optimization is a more traditional data science track. Done in collaboration with the Math Department it is the only concentration that does not leave space for elective courses. Finally, the Advanced Risk Analytics concentration is appropriate for students looking to apply data science techniques to Risk Management, i.e., a career dedicated to understanding risk and its implications.

One note about courses we took out of the core. We took out Portfolio Management and we created a completely new class (FA 631 Investment, Portfolio Construction, and Trading Analytics) which is dedicated to using ML techniques to investment. Will probably be taught in the Spring '22. The class I am mentioning as completely innovative is the new FA 636 Advanced Financial Risk Analytics which will be taught by Professor Simaan this coming Fall '21.

Other classes were moved from the core to concentrations. The FE 540 Probability course which is a required class from all applicants without a strong math/engineering background will be counted as an elective. Likewise, the programming lab courses in Bloomberg, R, and Python are not part of the core anymore, as we felt that incoming students had this knowledge already. If needed, the 1 credit lab courses are going to count as electives. As before, we recommend R in the first semester and Python in the second semester. Not knowing these languages = no job, but more importantly it also means you will not pass the first semester.

As always, substance is more important than form to us at Stevens, but we believe these changes will crystalize the form and make our graduates not only be good, but also look good. The jobs are picking up, and lately I have been hearing plenty of good news on that front from our students.

Make us proud!

Ionut Florescu
Director Hanlon Laboratories
Hoboken, April 2021

PS: The Hanlon Laboratories will have a new Data Science Engineer starting in June, more details next month.