FA595 Financial Technology (FinTech)

Course Catalog Description


FA 595 will survey emerging topics in the area of financial technology and also allow students to develop practical programming, statistics, and mathematical skills that are valued in the Fintech industry. We will explore topics from both theoretical and practical perspectives in the areas of automated wealth management, digital lending, peer-to-peer applications including payments and insurance, machine learning financial applications, and digital currency and blockchain trends. During this course, students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of each of these topics as well as develop their own software in the Python programming language related to these areas. For example, when discussing robo-advising, we will examine how a robo-advisor can select ETFs based on tracking error and expense ratio considerations, construct a portfolio based upon client preferences and asset allocation techniques, and rebalance the portfolio on a regular basis.

Campus Fall Spring Summer
On Campus X X


Professor Email Office
Steve Taylor

More Information

Course Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Be conversant in both the main theoretical ideas and high level concepts of the financial technology topics to be discussed.
  • Conversant in both the main theoretical ideas and high-level concepts of the financial technology topics to be discussed.
  • Students should aim to become proficient in the implementation of key ideas behind such topics.
  • Give students exposure to core ideas in financial technology as well as develop hands-on programming skills in the Fintech area.
  • Students will also be given outlines for a main project for this course which may lead into future research projects or a master’s thesis topic.
  • Finally, this course is a precursor for further Fintech topic-specific graduate courses.

Course Resources


  • McKinney, Wes. Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython

Additional References

  • Whitepapers, Survey Articles, and Video materials will be given to students throughout the class


Grading Policies

1 Participation 20%
2 Homework 30%
3 Topic Projects 30%
4 Final Project 20%
5 Total 100%

Lecture Outline

Week Topic
Initial Class Introduction and Course Overview
Required Reading:None
Assignment:Python Programming Problems
Week 1 Python and Git
Reading:Python package and Github Tutorial Examples with Fintech Applications
Assignment:Problem Set 1
Week 2 Financial Analytics in Python
Required Reading: Python Tutorials pyfolio/Riskfolio-Lib
Assigmnent:Analytics Programming Project
Week 3 Robo-Advisors
Reading:Financial Advisement History/Survey Articles
Week 4 Robo-Advisors
Reading:Wealthfront and Betterment Whitepapers
Assignment:Problem Set 2
Week 5 Loan Programs
Reading:PPP and Business Loan Program Documents
Week 6 P2P Lending
Reading:P2P Lending Survey and History
Week 7 Insurtech
Reading:Current trends and captive insurance documents
Assignment: Insurtech Project
Week 8 Insurtech
Reading:Peer-to-Peer Insurance Notes
Assignment: Reading
Week 9 Crypto Currencies and Blockchain
Reading:History of Money/Crypto Currencies Articles
Week 10 Crypto Currencies and Blockchain
Reading:Original Bitcoin Whitepaper
Assignment:Problem Set 4
Week 11 Crypto Currencies Exchanges and Blockchain
Reading:Ethereum/Blockchain References
Assignment:Crypto Programming Project
Week 12 DeFi
Reading:Decentralized Finance/ Central Bank Digital Currency
Assignment: Work on Final Project
Week 13 Regulation
Reading: Regulatory Initiatives/SEC/CFTC, etc
Assignment: Work on Final Project
Week 14 Final Project
Assignment: Presentations