A fast-paced, rigorous and interdisciplinary program in applied mathematics, finance and computer science, preparing students for rewarding finance careers.
The 21st century is inherently data-driven. Money management is really no exception, boosting global demand for professionals adept in business mathematics. It makes sense then, that the finance industry is one of the world’s most influential employers of qualified math graduates.
But quantitative analysts, or ‘quants’ as they’re commonly known, are not just hired by banks. In a world dominated by internet culture and minute to monumental datasets, these people can be found working for software companies, hedge funds, broker-dealer firms, insurance companies, and large corporate finance departments.
There’s both money and impact to be made for those who speak the common language of math. You could be rewarded with a fulfilling, challenging and lucrative career, for which a master’s-level education will more than likely be required.
In light of this, the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts & Sciences produced the Master of Science in Mathematical Finance (MSMF) – a truly comprehensive and highly-relevant graduate program. Since launching in the fall of 2016, the MSMF offers a respected route into the field of quantitative finance from a base in one of the most cosmopolitan centers in the US.
Completed over the course of three semesters, the program instils students with the strong capability to analyse and value complex investments through a vast curriculum; one that includes studies in math, statistical analysis, programming and finance.
“The financial industry is very competitive, and for many positions a Master’s degree is a prerequisite,” says Dr. Leonidas G. Bachas, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at UM.
“The…MSMF program provides students with an opportunity to embark on a fulfilling career in the financial industry by providing them with the analytical skills necessary to excel in the areas of quantitative finance and risk management.
“Since South Florida is a major financial center,” he adds, “students will also have an advantage of interacting with many high-profile financial companies during their time on the MSMF program.”
Graduates complete the program, empowered and able to thrive in one of the world’s most competitive sectors. On top of banks, software companies and general finance divisions, their expertise are used in asset management and brokerage firms, stock exchanges, and many other industries, opening up diverse employment opportunities on every end of the scale.
“A successful quant is one with three main weapons: programming fluency, ability to understand mathematical models, and a feel for the data,” says Dr. Alexander Dvorsky, Director of the MSMF.
“One can build a fulfilling career just by being strong in one of these areas, and our program will aim to make you good in all three.”
Delivered by the department’s expert faculty, the program is headed versatile practitioners who shine in vast math, computer science, and finance-based disciplines. Members of the MSMF Advisory Board are prominent industry leaders themselves; professionals who keep the curriculum relevant, up-to-date and responsive to finance trends and demands.
Calvin Yong graduated from the program this fall. A native of Parkland, FL, Yong earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Central Florida before choosing to delve deeper with the MSMF at UM.
For someone with a passion for probability and statistics, the MSMF undoubtedly made sense. Now, Yong plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science with a view to building his career in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
“I want to be a researcher with a focus in AI, which is quite the hot topic these days,” he says. “I want to focus particularly on deep learning, trying to get the machines to learn without being explicitly programmed. Studying mathematical finance gives me a universal array of tools useful for my goal.”
While the universal nature of mathematics allows Yong to use the MSMF to focus his goals, he understands the sheer expanse of potential the degree represents. It’s an accomplishment that could take him anywhere; any company on any continent in pretty much any country. That’s a return on investment that’s hard to find elsewhere.
“Mathematical models increasingly drive the future of global financial markets,” says Rao Parlapalli, MSMF Advisory Board member and Director at the AlphaCrest Capital Management, NYC.
“University of Miami, with its location in metropolitan South Florida,” he adds, “is perfectly positioned to teach the requisite quantitative skills.”