Chicago MSFM Seeking changes, Chicago MSFM fired founding director

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My 2 cents:

Many of the negative comments below are unfair to UChicago's MSFM program.

This program assumes a solid math foundation, in other words, the professors assume you know stochastic calculus at least the first 10 chapters of shreve's book. That's why stochastic calculus teaches compound Poisson process and jump process at first class. They put time series analysis and stochastic process in the 7-day review period.

CMU takes 5 courses to cover shreve's book:Probability, Multi-Period, Stoc Calc-I, Stoc Calc-II, Adv Modelling. And only in Adv Modelling, Kasper starts to talk about chapter 11.

To finish it, if you are ALREADY good at math, go to UChicago, it will be more cost-effective than CMU. But if you are from an Eco background, goto CMU.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Thanks for the link,
Here are the enrollment numbers for the Chicago MSFM program the past 3 years.
2010 (Source: http://registrar.uchicago.edu/statistics/pos/POS-Aut10.pdf)
Financial Mathematics-Chicago 120
Financial Mathematics-Singapore 31
Financial Mathematics-Stamford 16

2009 (Source: http://registrar.uchicago.edu/statistics/pos/Aut09-POS.pdf)
Financial Mathematics-Chicago 134
Financial Mathematics-Singapore 30
Financial Mathematics-Stamford 22

2008 (Source: http://registrar.uchicago.edu/statistics/pos/Aut08-POS.pdf)
Financial Mathematics-Chicago 110
Financial Mathematics-Singapore 29
Financial Mathematics-Stamford 29
 

uchicagomsfm

New Member
Just curious, has the teaching quality been improved? What is current percentage of students who get internships/full-time positions?
At least compared with last year, the teaching qualities hasn't improved at all, which is disappointing. The curriculum and the instructors are almost the same as last year, regardless of the poor reviews for some courses and overall curriculum. Overall, the teaching quality is not too satisfactory. You hear students complaining often. The curriculum are not well designed, some of the courses is poorly taught and not very relevant to each other. Roger Lee and Mark Hendricks are two instructors that most students consider excellent. It is ridiculous and useless to have three required C++ courses without using C++ in any other course. Matlab is widely used. It would be helpful to have other language choices, like R and Python. Hopefully, these will be improved soon.

As far as I am aware of, the majority of student this year, more than 70%, if not higher, of students have NOT got an internship yet, and it is now March already. This year, the program size in Chicago campus increased a lot from about 60 to more than 100 students. However, the resources doesn't increase, which makes much harder for every student to find internships. There are only three staffs in the career service, and Edonna seems the only one working harder to help students. Students who already have internships are students who already know a lot before they went to this program. They started searching jobs early on and was able to find jobs themselves anyway. Bank recruiting seasons were in the first quarter. Many students didn't know much about the timelines at all. Now, we could only try to get internships from smaller firms. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities next quarter.

In the same time, the workload at this program is a lot. UChicago, compared with Columbia, is more academic and focus on schoolwork, which is great. However, as a degree that aims to help students find jobs, it might be better to have more flexibility. On average, you take 400 credits of courses for the first three quarters. Each course has a lot of homework, I mean a lot! Students find it hard to have time to prepare for interviews. I found it hard to find time going over the quant interview guides during the quarter. In addition, some of the courses at this program are very theoretical and too complicated and do NOT really effectively help students with interviews. As a result, students are poorly-prepared for the job market.

Overall, I think the curriculum need to be improved in a way that courses are more practical, more inter-related, and more structured. Career service needs to be improved too. We don't pay this much tuition and fees only to do everything on our own.

Hope my biased comments might help.
 
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