Center for Financial Studies

Fosters high-quality research and learning.

The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) of the Lally School of Management strives to foster highest-quality research and learning in the fields of financial engineering, risk management, corporate finance, financial intermediation, and capital markets.  To that end, the Center produces industry events, hosts and participates in national competitions, provides professional training and data repositories, conducts workshops, and guides research opportunities.

Vision, Mission, and SMART Strategy

The vision of CFS is to become:
 
A leading educational center that promotes and facilitates technology-enabled and data-driven solutions for relevant and difficult decision problems in the financial services industry.
 
The mission of the CFS is to:
 
Actively participate and foster partnerships in education and innovation in addressing problems of
mitigating risks and other challenges facing the financial industry, particularly, with respect to credit and investment risk, regulatory and corporate issues, and spill-over of financial risks to other parts of the economy.
 
To accomplish these by 2024, several strategic thrusts (code-named SMART for Synergy, Meaningful,
Advanced, Raise, and Training) are identified:
 
  • Synergistic collaboration among Lally and non-Lally constituents, through CFS-based faculty affiliations and industry-partnered projects
  • Meaningful dissemination and sharing of knowledge and discovery that can impact the best practices, through topic-specific workshops and CFS participation
  • Advancement of the technological infrastructure of CFS (in hardware, software, and data access) to facilitate comprehensive solutions to financial problems
  • Raising the awareness of CFS among all students to promote wider participation for industry exposure and knowledge discovery, and in leveraging existing technological skills in a wider student population
  • Training, education, and certification of young talent in facing and mitigating tomorrow's challenges in the global financial landscape.

Research, Support, and Partnerships

Research 
 
CFS focuses on research related to quantitative finance, risk management, corporate finance, and capital markets. We support faculty and student research via: 
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Interaction with industry and professional bodies
  • A repository for financial data, software, and other research-related facilities at the Lally School 
Support
 
CFS supports student research and hands-on experience at all levels via:
  • Technology and computer lab
  • Financial and statistics software
  • Trading lab, access to a variety of financial databases, and literature
  • Library
  • Bloomberg terminal
Partnerships
 
CFS provides a variety of interactions with industry via: 
  • Professional organizations
  • IAQF: International Association for Quantitative Finance
  • GARP: Global Association of Risk Professional
  • CQA Investment Challenge
  • Industry speaker series
  • Career fair (IAQF - end of October)
  • GARP events

CFS Seminars: Research Series, Industry Speaker Series

CFS Research Series Seminars

  • March 3, 2017 - "Credit Default Swaps and Bond Issuance Cost,” with Cihan Uzmanoglu, Ph.D., School of Management, SUNY Binghamton University, Binghamton, N.Y. The event will be held on the Rensselaer campus, Pittsburgh Building, Room 5114, from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
  • February 22, 2017 - “Interest Rate Swap Market Complexity and Its Volatility Implication,” with Steve Yang, Ph.D., School of Systems and Enterprises, Steven Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J. 
  • February 17, 2017 - “Volatility Forecasting: The Role of Internet Search Activity and Implied Volatility,” with Marketa Wolfe, Ph.D., Department of Economics, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 
  • January 31, 2017 - "Real Activities Management and Volatility of Operating Cash Flows: The Impact of Enterprise Systems,” with Alfred Liu, Ph.D., School of Business, University of Albany, Albany, N.Y. 
  • November 10, 2016 - "A New Non-Convex Optimization Approach (HOPE) for High Dimensional Regression in Genomic Subset Selection,” with Professor Yuji Nakagawa, Faculty of Informatics, Kansai University, Osaka, Japan.  
  • November 10, 2016 - "Product Market Peers in Lending: Information Processing Efficiencies and Proprietary Costs,” with Gaetano Gus De Franco, Ph.D., B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
  • November 9, 2016 - “The Value of Hot News: Intellectual Property and the Sell-Side Research Industry,” with Jonathan E. Clarke, Ph.D., Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.  
  • November 2, 2016 - "CAP COM, A Case Study for Success," with Ms. Paula Stopera, President / CEO, CAP COM Federal Credit Union.  

CFS Industry Speaker Series Seminars

  • March 1, 2017 - “Factor Models in Equity Portfolio Management,” with Dr. Vijay Chopra, managing director of international equities, Lebenthal Asset Management, New York, N.Y. The event will be held on the Rensselaer campus, Bruggeman Room, from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • October 26, 2016 - "Leveraging Modeling and Analytical Techniques for Credit Card Business,” with Mr. Sharad Kumar ’02.   
  • October 18, 2016 - "Preparing for a Risk Career," with Dr. Lisa S. Ponti, Head of Academic and Regulatory Outreach, Global Association of Risk Professionals. 

 

Training

CFS Training Opportunities

 

Student Challenges and Competitions

  • CFS Financial Modeling Competition 
  • IAQF Modeling Competition (National-level event) 
  • CQA Challenge (National-level event)
  • GARP Masters Research Fellowship (International opportunity)
  • CFA Research Challenge and CAIA activities
  • The Buttonwood Debate

Affiliations: Faculty and Industry

CFS Director:

Professor Chanaka Edirisinghe
The Kay and Jackson Tai ’72 Chair and Director of the Center for Financial Studies
Rensselaer Lally School of Management
edirin@rpi.edu

Affiliated Faculty

Associate Professor Aparna Gupta
Director of the M.S. in Quantitative Finance and Risk Analytics Program
Rensselaer Lally School of Management
guptaa@rpi.edu

Rensselaer Department of Computer Science