Which program to choose between NYU Courant Math in Finance and Columbia MFE?


  • Total voters
    65

DanImp

New Member
Hi there,

I have been admitted to NYU Courant Master in Mathematics in Finance and Columbia Master in Financial Engineering. I'm very happy but I really don't know which one to pick now. Columbia has a stronger brand and definitely a bigger alumni network. NYU's brand is weaker (but Courant is #1 in applied math) but the smaller class size (about 30 students vs 70-80 for Columbia) is definitely a huge plus, together with the fact that they have a more mathematically rigorous approach. The most used programming language at NYU Courant is Java, and this is something I can't really understand (and it's my fault maybe..), while at Columbia there is a considerable component of C++ and this is definitely better. Another thing which is really important is that at Columbia you are basically in competition with students from the Master in Math of Finance, the ones from Operation Research and also someone from the new Financial Economics course...

I am interested in quantitative asset management and my objective is not to get a pure quant position. In particular, I would like to get positions in portfolio management or as a researcher. In this sense, I think that both programs could be equally good to achieve my aim, since there are a lot of electives to choose in order to focus on what you are really interested in.

Can someone with a good knowledge of both programs, or maybe a student or an alumnus, give me more details on other things I should consider in order to take this decision? Which program would you suggest me? What are your personal experiences with Columbia and NYU?

I really hope that someone can shed some light on this because I am really having a lot of problems coming up with a final decision.

Thank you for your help,



Dan
 

lsjaaa

New Member
Man, you are lucky this year. Last year, NYU sent out their offers in April, way after Columbia did. A lot of students who wanted to go to NYU ended going to Columbia. It is not the case this year. Choose NYU Courant when you have the chance! Their class size is much smaller and almost every single faulty member in NYU MFin is a managing director in either JPM or Goldman. Columbia is good but NYU is better. Again, you are lucky. NYU learned to send out offers early.
 

lffei

New Member
Go to NYU. Columbia's career services is s**i. There isn't enough resources for all the students to recruit. Also the OR program cuts into the employment poll. Dont do it... So not worth it.
 

adam.adam

New Member
Go to NYU. Columbia's career services is s**i. There isn't enough resources for all the students to recruit. Also the OR program cuts into the employment poll. Dont do it... So not worth it.
Are you an MFE student at Columbia?
 

adam.adam

New Member
Send a brief email to NYU to ask for early decision; it is free to send an email.;)
Tell them that you have been admitted by Columbia.

We will receive unexpected surprise~!
I've been admitted to NYU too :) It's just tough to decide between the two!
 

Mensa

Member
Columbia MFE definitely has better placement result and reputation than NYU's MMF.

I have a friend in NYU, who told me he screwed up in a quant interview because he don't know C++. He wanted to answer questions by JAVA, but the interviewer said "I don't know JAVA and our work never use it as well."

Everyone likes to mention the Courant Institute at NYU, but man you are going to attend a M.S. program, employment - oriented, instead of Ph.D.

PLUS: my friend finally got offer from another big IB. NYU MMF is always one of the top programs, with almost 100% placement rates for summer internship. That's just a point I proposed for you to consider.
 
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Columbia MFE definitely has better placement result and reputation than NYU's MMF.

I have a friend in NYU, who told me he screwed up in a quant interview because he don't know C++. He wanted to answer questions by JAVA, but the interviewer said "I don't know JAVA and our work never use it as well."

Everyone likes to mention the Courant Institute at NYU, but man you are going to attend a M.S. program, employment - oriented, instead of Ph.D.
And how is NYU responsible for that? You're supposed to research the company beforehand. You're expected to have a strong programming background before attending these programs as they will only guide you in solving certain problems instead of teaching you languages in totality.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I have a friend in NYU, who told me he screwed up in a quant interview because he don't know C++. He wanted to answer questions by JAVA, but the interviewer said "I don't know JAVA and our work never use it as well."
Did your friend not know beforehand?
 

Mensa

Member
And how is NYU responsible for that? You're supposed to research the company beforehand. You're expected to have a strong programming background before attending these programs as they will only guide you in solving certain problems instead of teaching you languages in totality.
That's why I said "he screwed up" -- his own responsibility. But NYU MMF candidates mostly graduated with math degree, so many of them didn't have enough programming experience before. You can definitely learn those necessary stuff by yourself, but it takes you more extra time, especially under the intense mandatory studies.
 

DanImp

New Member
He knew, probably, so that's his responsibility for screwing up, but not everyone is able to/has enough time to learn C++ by themselves.
I don't know your experience with programming, but they generally do not teach you programming languages at an MFE, if you know what I mean. Java is definitely a negative side, as I said, but it can't be considered as an important factor to decide which program to choose! I am also worried about that, since I am not a good programmer and I only have a little experience with C++, but I need to take into account also more concrete things... It's going to be up to me to learn C++ and this would be the same both at NYU or at Columbia.
 

Mensa

Member
I don't know your experience with programming, but they generally do not teach you programming languages at an MFE, if you know what I mean. Java is definitely a negative side, as I said, but it can't be considered as an important factor to decide which program to choose! I am also worried about that, since I am not a good programmer and I only have a little experience with C++, but I need to take into account also more concrete things... It's going to be up to me to learn C++ and this would be the same both at NYU or at Columbia.
I have a Bachelor's degree in Information System. I systematically learned both C++ and Java in undergraduate, and I am also proficient in Matlab and Python. I am now a Columbia student, and I did also take a C++ for Financial Engineering course last semester.

Yes, MFEs never teach programming languages and coding, but they teach how to implement models, simulations and computational methods by programming, and give you homeworks/projects, as well as sample codes, to solve certain problems. Hence, if the programming course is JAVA-based, you have to use JAVA a lot, and through learning-by-doing, you could get proficient in JAVA.

But the problem is: it is a different thing to do that all by C++. Then you have to learn C++ by yourself, because C++ is ESSENTIAL.

If you are already a good programmer before attending this program, it is never a problem for you. To take myself as an example, I learned JAVA in my fresh man year, and then I found everything became much easier when I moved to C++, not to mention Matlab and Python. But if you have very little experience in C++, you should consider this factor carefully.

This does not affect the quality of NYU's MMF, but that's a factor I proposed for you to consider.

PLUS: Many of my friends who took the QuantNet C++ course found it's very useful. If you would like to join NYU, you may take it to enrich your programming experience.
 

DanImp

New Member
I have a Bachelor's degree in Information System. I systematically learned both C++ and Java in undergraduate, and I am also proficient in Matlab and Python. I am now a Columbia student, and I did also take a C++ for Financial Engineering course last semester.

Yes, MFEs never teach programming languages and coding, but they teach how to implement models, simulations and computational methods by programming, and give you homeworks/projects, as well as sample codes, to solve certain problems. Hence, if the programming course is JAVA-based, you have to use JAVA a lot, and through learning-by-doing, you could get proficient in JAVA.

But the problem is: it is a different thing to do that all by C++. Then you have to learn C++ by yourself, because C++ is ESSENTIAL.

If you are already a good programmer before attending this program, it is never a problem for you. To take myself as an example, I learned JAVA in my fresh man year, and then I found everything became much easier when I moved to C++, not to mention Matlab and Python. But if you have very little experience in C++, you should consider this factor carefully.

This does not affect the quality of NYU's MMF, but that's a factor I proposed for you to consider.

PLUS: Many of my friends who took the QuantNet C++ course found it's very useful. If you would like to join NYU, you may take it to enrich your programming experience.
I'll definitely try to enrich my programming skills. The real question is, why do they prefer Java to C++? I really don't get it. Moreover, is it still the case that the program is Java based or they have now shifted to C++ after complaints by some students?
 
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