# 2011-2012 Quantnet Ranking of Financial Engineering (MFE) Programs

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#### atreides

Probably, the schools which refused to submit any information should have been excluded from the rankings to avoid conflicts.
At the very minimum, it should be disclosed on the rankings page, which schools refused to provide any information for the rankings.,

I agree with this

#### Andy Nguyen

But that doesn't preclude him from releasing the aggregate scores for each program... can you explain why Andy is not responding to my request for aggregate score disclosure? US News grad program rankings are scaled 5.0 to 0. Is it too unreasonable to ask for the same here?
That's something we will consider for future rankings. The 2011 ranking will stay as is. We set a goal to release a new and improved MFE ranking in 2011. We have met that goal and now it's time to move on to the next priority on our list: get our online C++ course running. That's where I will focus most of my time and energy doing for the next few months.

#### FallSky

he has to look into future too. maybe those schools participate next time. writing about the schools that did not participate can make the relationships sour.
I think lack of transparency will hurt the site more in the long run

#### FallSky

Andy is not responding to any of you because he already said that:
I am not requesting disclosure of data from willing participant schools, but QUANTNET's disclosure of who refused to participate. There is NO confidentiality or trust involved. It is like I go ask you for your password, and you refuse to give me. Then I tell others you refuse to give me the password. Did I violate information confidentiality?

#### MRoss

Everyone can think what they want. Andy is the one with a site with 11K+ members. He must be doing something right...

#### myampol

Perhaps the schools that did not want to participate were those that would have earned low rankings if they had chosen to participate, so they made their decision accordingly...

#### koupparis

##### Carpe noctum
Perhaps the schools value Andy's honesty and integrity, and although they didn't participate in this ranking, he may very well likely have other interactions with them that require his discretion. Thus, him keeping quiet about who said what allows his to keep his relationship with the programs intact.

#### bob

##### Faculty (Undercover)
Actually, I'm interested in the question previously raised of who is helped by these rankings.

I can see the use for prospective students who want to make sure they talk to the right places and tailor a strategy for which places they apply to. In that vein, it might be helpful to know detailed information from the programs that are willing to disclose it along the lines of where graduates were placed, in what sorts of positions, and what prior industry experience they had. Perhaps this is a level of disclosure no one will be willing to offer, but perhaps a set of general categories could be found to identify the incoming / outgoing applicants' professional profiles; in aggregate per program, especially over 2-3 years, this might help make it clearer what the various programs are good at and what kinds of applicants they seem to prefer.

I'm curious if anyone else in this thread who does hiring feels they will be influenced by the results. From my perspective, I already knew for all of the top names that someone from there is worth at least talking to. On the other hand, I've also met people from top programs who I was surprised could even tie their shoes in the morning, or cross a busy street without being hit by a bus. Fortunately, it's not usually difficult to assess in an interview context whether (a) someone knows what they say they know, (b) whether what they know will be useful to you, and (c) whether they have an ounce of common sense or creativity. So really I guess what I'm asking is whether anyone would make an interview / not-interview decision differently on the basis of this information. I sort of doubt I would.

#### ian.ward

I love the people who are like "why don't you do this? come on US News did it". This is quantnet people, not US News. That would be like going up to a wendy's and saying "why don't you sell a big mac? come on mcdonald's does it." haha.

#### bansalmohit

I love the people who are like "why don't you do this? come on US News did it". This is quantnet people, not US News. That would be like going up to a wendy's and saying "why don't you sell a big mac? come on mcdonald's does it." haha.

that was so good

#### fallingleaf

Co
I love the people who are like "why don't you do this? come on US News did it". This is quantnet people, not US News. That would be like going up to a wendy's and saying "why don't you sell a big mac? come on mcdonald's does it." haha.

Come on, it was Andy who said below

"For anyone interested in learning/attacking our methodology, please be assured that it is modeled after the methodology of US News Business School Ranking.

I actually went on to look for their methodologies and did some comparison ( see my previous post). For those who is on the other side, who actually did that? Now raising these questions are not cool on the forum? give me a break. Andy never answered my questions.

Anybody who does regression/factor models know that you have to form your economic hypothesis first and test it later. I could imagine that somebody starts with U.S news methodology. Then after analyzing the data. oops. my beloved school does not rank high enough. How can I change the ranking? let me think. maybe change the coefficient for certain factors (such as acceptance rate). You know that, I'll add 5% to the schools who responded. If 5% is not enough, increase it to 6%, 7% whatever. I'll not release the factors anyway. Only the coefficients.

You see, when Andy said it's modeled after U.S news methodology while adding some big factors without any explanation, shouldn't you, the judge of the ranking, question his methodology?

I wasted too much time here without my questions being answered directly. Peace out. Guys. Have fun!

#### MNB

Hmm I'm a bit confused. Was it not only last year that there were accusations that the UC Berkeley placement stats were so good that they must be fake? And yet in a ranking that apparently places a 50% weight on placement, the school scores below 4 others and level with one more. Am I missing something here?

Also quick question Andy - does the ranking methodology substitute GRE score for GMAT scores when no GRE scores are available?

#### fallingleaf

I cannot help but point out that the following criterion all benefits smaller programs such as Baruch but not there in the U.S. News methodology.

Acceptance rate (10%)
5% bonus point (sure Baruch participated)

Last post on this topic although I repeatedly said this.

#### Justin Leung

Come on, it was Andy who said below

"For anyone interested in learning/attacking our methodology, please be assured that it is modeled after the methodology of US News Business School Ranking.

I actually went on to look for their methodologies and did some comparison ( see my previous post). For those who is on the other side, who actually did that? Now raising these questions are not cool on the forum? give me a break. Andy never answered my questions.
Why do we model after the US News methodology? Because its B-School ranking is well-known. It does not mean we want to use their exact weighting, criteria. MBA programs and MFE programs are different in so many aspects. We want to develop our own ranking methodology and the US News provides a good start.

#### Sherlock

Why do you just copy paste something when there WILL for sure be follow up questions. I don't care about most of what has been written here but just a super simple question: why is the acceptance rate more informative of the quality of an MFE program (and therefore being 10% of the total score) than of an MBA program (being less than 10%) ?

#### FallSky

Anyone knows about Diego Maradona's Hand Of God? The World Cup regulation states no protests may be made against the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play, such decisions being final.

I respect that the ranking is final. But whether there is Hand Of God, please subject the result to facts. The whole world knows, by reviewing the video, Argentina won the World Cup with the help from the Hand of God... But it is a fact that Argentina was the winner. God doesn't always honor fair play. But whether it is an honor or disgrace for Argentina to be awarded the gold cup, let the world be the judge.

While Andy's work is much appreciated by the community, are we allowed to question the result? A pattern I sensed here is as soon as someone raises a different voice, a pack of attacks swarm together to shut up the heresy mouth, just like what medieval churches did. This reaction is rather destructive. It doesn't justify any attacker's school to be on the top list. If the behavior is common among people from a specific school, any level-headed intellectual may cast doubt on the school's culture, its graduates’ caliber and even its education quality. Truth doesn't always rest with the majority. In fact, it is often the contrary.

We are human. It is understandable to become emotionally attached to arguments. But try seperate opinion from emotion. Lauching personal attack serves nobody nor the community. I would not disqualify/qualify someone's argument because of her/his way of expression. Afterall, numbers don't lie and this is what we finance people do anyway - making sound judgement sans emotional noises.

Please let different voices be heard, even if the voice may sound harsh to your ears. Anyone who is seriously considering MFE programs in the top 10 should then take the ranking with a grain of salt.

#### PierreXu

I'm attending Berkeley soon but I'll try to make this as objective as possible.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this before. One of the reasons Berkeley has high acceptance rate is because it charges an exceptionally high application fee ($225) while most other schools charge about$100. It is likely that UCB weeds out a lot more "unserious/weak" potential applicants than other programs can for this reason alone. This can be somewhat confirmed by the relatively small number of applications Berkeley receives every year. UCB tends to have higher acceptance rate because it is choosing from an application pool of higher quality.

Also, from what I know, Berkeley was one of the schools that didn't "coorperate" with the survey.

#### PierreXu

Using GRE quant score and GPA score as proxies for student selectivity is a bit of problematic. For the top programs, their students' GRE quant scores are all clustered slightly below 800. In regression models, we know that a variable with very small deviation tends to serve as "bad" explantary variable since it would introduce huge standard error for estimated coefficient. Similar reasons can be applied here to argue that the usage of GRE quant score would introduce huge measurement error as a proxy for student selectivity.

For GPA score, we need to keep in mind that it is much more difficult to get 3.5 GPA from an Ivy school than from a third tier university. It is almost certain that better MFE programs tend to accept students from better schools. It is not unthinkable that MFE students from better school may actually have lower GPA on average than students from not-so-good schools because of this. Therefore, using average GPA without controlling for the type of universities from which students had their bachelor degrees is probabily not a good way to measure student selectivity either.

Last but not least, I'm not sure student selectivity deserves a 25% of weighting for the ranking even if good proxies for it can be found. Once the performance of students after graduation is controlled (as is in the case of this ranking), one would think that student selectivity is negatively correlated with the quality of the program. A way to think of this is to imagine that there are two programs-- one accepts all the crappy students and one admits all the talented students. But after graduation, the students from both programs manage to earn the same income and enjoy the same reputation in the industry over the years. Now which program do you think is better, the one that gets all the crappy students or the one that gets the talented ones? From the view point of employers, this doesn't matter. However, from the point of a student, the first program is actually the better one.

That being said, I don't mean to bash this ranking. I'm just trying to give some constructive criticism here Personally, I like this website as it has provided me with many useful information. I also respect Baruch. I attended ARPM bootcamp held in Baruch and was very much impressed by what I saw there.

#### Yike Lu

##### Finder of biased coins.
A pattern I sensed here is as soon as someone raises a different voice, a pack of attacks swarm together to shut up the heresy mouth, just like what medieval churches did. This reaction is rather destructive. It doesn't justify any attacker's school to be on the top list. If the behavior is common among people from a specific school, any level-headed intellectual may cast doubt on the school's culture, its graduates’ caliber and even its education quality.

We are human. It is understandable to become emotionally attached to arguments. But try seperate opinion from emotion. Lauching personal attack serves nobody nor the community. I would not disqualify/qualify someone's argument because of her/his way of expression. Afterall, numbers don't lie and this is what we finance people do anyway - making sound judgement sans emotional noises.
Let me ask you the following:
If any level-headed intellectual may cast doubt...
Then is it not a level-headed and intellectual act to doubt the original voice because it is clearly biased by emotion?

If you would not disqualify/qualify someone's argument because of his/her way of expression, then by your own definition you are not a level-headed intellectual.

My purpose isn't to point out your contradiction, but to show you cannot have both things. Either you judge an argument with the emotional bias in mind or you ignore the emotional bias.

From what I've seen, it seems the majority of personal attacks have been directed at people who have themselves made personal attacks on others. I have not seen a case where somebody makes a level-headed criticism of the ranking and gotten attacked as a result.

#### myampol

For GPA score, we need to keep in mind that it is much more difficult to get 3.5 GPA from an Ivy school than from a third tier university. It is almost certain that better MFE programs tend to accept students from better schools. It is not unthinkable that MFE students from better school may actually have lower GPA on average than students from not-so-good schools because of this. Therefore, using average GPA without controlling for the type of universities from which students had their bachelor degrees is probabily not a good way to measure student selectivity either.

Sorry, but the data seems to disagree with you -- the GPAs at Ivy league (and other private) universities tend to be significantly higher than at public schools.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/0324/p09s02-coop.html
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/want-a-higher-g-p-a-go-to-a-private-college/

At most Ivy-league schools (Princeton being the exception)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/education/31princeton.html

Also, at most schools the number of MFE students who have obtained their undergraduate education in the USA seems to be a minority. There are MFE programs where most of the enrolled students have come from overseas (e.g., from China, India, France). How would you compare such applicants who come from places which do not use the "A=4.0" grading scale, which is essentially a US creation?

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