DISCUSSION on second rated MFE programs

In the past I managed quants, IT people, etc and a depressing % of the arguments I had to referee were over miscommunication of ideas, over definitions, and on a number of occasions where the factions actually agreed but didn't realise it.
Anyone who has managed in this environment will recognise this, and therefore will value the ability to articulate their position.

I would also add that I have found that I dumb down my English significantly when talking/writing to quants, initially that was unconscious, but now I catch myself when using non trivial words. I suppose I should respect other cultures, but in the 21st century I don't accept any excuse for not speaking English, regardless of your origin. I deal with people not only from every country on Earth, but a few places that aren't even recognised as states. If someone from a village in China so out of it that they only have one telephone can use the word "obsequious" in the right context, but also explain the problems of orbits in monte carlo, then pretty much no one has an excuse.

I'm going off-topic but I can't resist the temptation. You should include the USA as "other culture." Speaking, listening, reasoning, and writing skills are abysmal here. I can't think offhand of a single American I'd like to spend half a day at an airport with: the mere prospect fills me with dismay. The lack of such skills is endemic to the USA, from the braying of senior politicians on the television screen to the ordinary yob in the street. I don't quite know what the root cause of this malady is. I'm confining myself to words alone: in England a subtle hand gesture, a raised eyebrow, a pursing of the lips, a pregnant pause, can convey volumes, but let's not get into this here as it requires a homogeneous national culture conspicuous by its absence on these shores.
 
Hey, hey, hey.
Looks like Fordham just changed the languages about its internship project on its website. Not sure when they made this change.

Required Summer Project

All students participate in a project at a major financial institution during the summer term. The project serves as the capstone of the MSQF Program. It gives students the opportunity to apply the financial theory and quantitative skills they have learned in the classroom and to get hands-on experience solving real-world financial problems in a business setting. Students will also take an oral and written communications course during the last term to develop the communications skills they need to function in business. The summer project will provide opportunities to apply those communication skills. The summer project requirement can be paid or unpaid from a financial firm either arranged by us or by the student him/herself. In the unlikely event that a student is not able to obtain a project from any financial firm, a suitable project will be designed for the student by the MSQF faculty.
Fordham Graduate Business :: Fordham University

Quite a drastic change from the earlier language we've seen.
We want students who are coming directly out of elite undergraduate programs like Fordham’s and who are willing to invest in one year's training in mathematical finance before heading for a job on Wall Street.

We offer the benefits of our New York location (with which you’re familiar because you’re already here), including a four-month on-site internship at a major financial institution during the last of the program's three terms.
http://150.108.169.72/vo/fbd1/cal/detail.aspx?ID=3299
 
Hey, hey, hey.
Looks like Fordham just changed the languages about its internship project on its website. Not sure when they made this change.

Pathetic. The market's already tough: consider how much tougher it'll be without a paid internship under one's belt. But then again, it's not easy to get paid internships in today's environment.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
I've read the new language of Fordham's pitch for MFE students, and I must confess that it seems to be not entirely straight even now. Projects with a bank are a good thing, but are a long way short of an internship, and when my eye is caught, I get quite precise about English. "With" a bank is a very different thing to "at" a bank.
Most banks give small projects to universities to get small, non critical things done cheaply. A sort of outsourcing, and is a wholesome thing.
A project at a bank implies working with their staff, building contacts, learning from them and helping you elbow your way to a job, their track record does not imply they can deliver this.

But at least they're working towards a more honest approach to their marketing, which is good.
 
Here is a post by an incoming Cornell FE student who visited the campus recently. According to the post, Cornell FE does not teach C++.
I visited Cornell on Wednesday and got to meet with some faculty and current students and also attended a couple of classes. I just wanted to share with you a couple of things I observed.
<...>
Most of you probably noticed that there aren't any Financial Modeling with C++ courses on the course listing" just Matlab and some other statistical packages. I told the director that I felt it's important for quants to know how to program and debug models in C++ and that Matlab and R isn't sufficient. In response she acknowledged that this is a flaw in Cornell's FE program and she is trying to encourage professors to switch to a C++ environment for the student projects
although she can't promise that this will be implemented for the upcoming academic year. However I spoke with a quant trader at BoA yesterday who said that Matlab and R are becoming more popular on trading desks while C++ is now more emphasized by IT groups. Anyone with thoughts on this please share.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Some of the modelers in my Group use R but it has some quirky ways of handling data that makes some of the processing really slow so we have a mix evironment with Java.
 
The lack of response to our survey may be a result of our survey being mailed to the wrong contact persons. If anyone knows the appropriate person of these programs, please let us know and we will attempt to contact them again.
Over the weekend, we have contacted a few more programs whose email addresses are listed in IAFE's programs summary spreadsheet.

We just received a response this morning from Prof. Barry Blecherman of Polytech.
Hi,

We are working on well-stated answers to your questions.

Cordially,
Prof. Barry Blecherman
 
Here are the firms and areas in which our first year students will be working; I can also share some of the firms for permanent placement of our second-year students if you are interested:

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (NY)
Goldman Sachs FX Strategy (London)
JPMorgan Sales & Trading (Hong Kong)
JPM Investment Banking/Corporate Finance (Hong Kong)
JPM Chase Treasury Strategies (NY)
Lehman Bros. Asset Management (Chicago)
Lehman Bros. Interest Rate Strategies (NY)
Lehman Bros Structured Trading (NY)
Merrill Lynch Sales & Trading (London)
Merrill Lynch Quantitative Research, (NY)
Morgan Stanley Investment Management (NY)
UBS Sales & Trading (Stamford)
Citigroup Structured Products (Hong Kong)
Hagin Investment Management (NY)
Constellation Energy Trading Desk (Baltimore)
Banco de México

Wendell Collins (Princeton)
 

KML

KML
UCLA MFE

UCLA had another MFE information session on Tuesday, and my friend told me it was pretty well attended with about 50 people there. They are supposed to have a NYC session soon, but nothing his posted on their website yet. I am interested to hear their pitch.
 
heyy everyone - glad to find this site! fairly recent graduate from UChicago's Financial Math program, workin at my first job, getting knee-deep in C# now.
Was casually looking through the U Chicago program description and saw that they list the programming courses as C# programming
Not sure if this is a glaring typo because when i click on it, it says C++. The + and # keys are on opposite sides of the keyboard so I'll take it meant C++
When you read the description, it says depends on a entry exam test, C++ programming may be entirely optional ????
C++
In order to assure that every graduating student has solid programming background each student is required to take a C++ proficiency test before the start of the courses. Depending on the results of this test the student will be required to take either both the first and second quarters of the C++ Programming course, only the second quarter or be completely exempt from the course. The third quarter is deals with more specialized topics in C++ programming and is entirely optional.
The first quarter deals with the basics of writing programs in C++ and introduces the STL, the Standard Template Library. The quarter is for students with minimal C++ experience.
The second quarter is devoted to OOP, Object Oriented Programming. We will design classes for yield curve computations and put together a bond analysis application. We will also cover UML, Universal Modeling Language and discuss design patterns. Students who have some experience can join this quarter.
The third quarter studies the QuantLib quantitative finance class library. We will use this library to write pricing models for a variety of exotic derivatives.
The third quarter mentions Quantlib which seems to indicate the Chicago program uses C++ instead of C# since Quantlib is not available in C# yet. For someone who takes the first quarter and second quarter, Quantlib is a big jump. Not many student can actually benefit without a solid C++ foundation.
From their description, I wonder how much C++ programming is taught in their program.

If bayeskid can comment, it would be nice.
 

BayesKid

newbie quanster
Was casually looking through the U Chicago program description and saw that they list the programming courses as C# programming
Not sure if this is a glaring typo because when i click on it, it says C++. The + and # keys are on opposite sides of the keyboard so I'll take it meant C++
When you read the description, it says depends on a entry exam test, C++ programming may be entirely optional ????
The third quarter mentions Quantlib which seems to indicate the Chicago program uses C++ instead of C# since Quantlib is not available in C# yet. For someone who takes the first quarter and second quarter, Quantlib is a big jump. Not many student can actually benefit without a solid C++ foundation.
From their description, I wonder how much C++ programming is taught in their program.

If bayeskid can comment, it would be nice.


Hi Tigga - I finished the program a few years ago and at the time there was not a Computation in Finance C++ nor C# course. UofC introduced the course 2-3 years ago so I can't comment much on it ... take the following with a grain of salt, from what I hear:

* C# is being used for the first time this year.
* C# was heavily used for the fall and winter quarters, some interop projects (plotting with Excel)
* But C++ / Quantlib is being used this spring - for the students who placed out of the entry exam I guess (most probably had previous dev experience). All projects are being done in Visual Studio. Let me know if you are anyone else wants more info and I'll see what I can find out.:smt024
 
Great idea, Andy! Some other schools you might want to survey are University of Toronto and Stanford.
I can confirm the contact person for Cornell should be Kathy King, not the other guy.
On a second thought, if you or somebody can compile a working contact list of the programs you are interested in, we can send our survey to them. You can get the email contacts from the website, IAFE list or from whatever source as long as the survey got to the right people.
 
BayesKid,
Thanks for the insightful comments. I thought you are recent graduate of the program. In any case, I would rather take your words than anything I read on the program's website.
Going C# is an interesting approach from UChicago. I wonder if they do so because of all the perceived bleeding edge of .NET and VSTO and all that stuff. If a student is a C++ expert, going C# is just a walk in the park but for students without proper training, I'm afraid they are being short changed.

In any case, would love to get your insights on the Singapore program that UChicago opens this year. Do you know what is the idea behind it?
Also, do you get internal mailings from the program about internship, placement stats that you can share? Do the alumni of the program have anything organized?
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
There are some jobs in C#, though it's a long way behind C++ and VBA.
VSTO is less shit than it used to be, but I have yet to meet anyone who actually likes it.

Like Tigga, I am interested in how "franchise" MFEs work out in practice.
 
Need Advice on these colleges

I need the best choice out of these colleges. I know you guys don't do rankings but any information which can help me decide which college to go to will be appreciated.

1)Baruch is obviously number one choice

But who is better

Kent State or Illinois Institute of technology ( Stuart school of business)

Thanks guys,
I appreciate the help
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Based on what criteria? we don't know which school is better. We won't be able to tell since you will have to set a criteria and then, you probably need somebody who has been in both schools to give you a somewhat real assessment. Anything else is subjective opinions that won't help you at all either.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
You know what, I might start to give random advice about schools and maybe, just maybe, people will stop asking those silly questions.
 
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