Category: Academic Programs

SMG Team Places 1st in US, 2nd in World in CME Group Trading Challenge

March 24th, 2014 in Graduate Students, MSMF, News, Students

It started in a McDonald’s. After registering for the annual CME Group Trading Challenge, a team of four students in the Mathematical Finance program—a team that would ultimately place first nationally and second globally in the challenge—sat down to lunch at the fast food restaurant in Kenmore Square. They noticed a scratch on their table that closely resembled a lighthouse and, at that moment, Team Lighthouse was born. It was the first of many real-life observations that would direct them through an intense competition and perhaps the easiest consensus of the four-week challenge.

“We liked the symbol of a lighthouse,” said Lingchen Guo (MSMF’15), an analyst on the team, “and thought that it sounded like the name of an actual futures company.”

With their team name chosen, Lingchen (Frank) Guo (MSMF’15), Sarah Hochstatter (MSMF’15), Duyong Lee (MSMF’15), and Anastasios (Tassos) Mallis (MSMF’15) began their path to victory in the CME Group Trading Challenge, a worldwide online competition where teams of undergraduate and graduate students trade a variety of CME Group products from multiple asset classes in a simulated trading environment.

Occurring on a real-time professional trading platform provided by CQG, CME Group’s Trading Challenge, hosts a growing number of teams and countries each year. In 2014, nearly 400 teams from 31 countries participated, including four other BU teams.

The diversity of the competition can be seen in Team Lighthouse itself, whose four members come from the US, China, Korea, and Greece. Their range of backgrounds worked to their advantage, giving them knowledge of foreign exchange, one of the six asset classes in the challenge.

The Trading Challenge lasts four weeks and includes a practice round, a preliminary round, and a championship round. Over the course of the competition, the team’s analysts, Guo and Hochstatter, carefully watched market news, anticipating fluctuations, spikes, and drops. The pair reported their findings to Lee and Mallis, who traded based on these market reactions—and their own gut reactions.

Nerves of steel

Mallis took the night shift, trading from midnight to 7 a.m., and though he lost a lot of sleep, he didn’t lose much money, making responsible but substantial trades in the early market hours. It was Lee who took chances during his 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift. As Mallis puts it, he made the small trades that laid the foundation for Lee, who built higher and higher upon it.

“You need to lay ground so you can begin to construct buildings,” Mallis said. “Duyong constructed tall buildings. He has nerves of steel.”

The traders made educated orders and trusted in the strategy that Guo and Hochstatter devised. With adjustments made from the preliminary round to the championship, their strategy earned them a spot in the winner’s circle. Team Lighthouse placed second in the world and first in the US.

“It was about having the stomach to believe in your strategy,” Mallis said.

Learning from everything

From meeting deadlines to delegating functions to communicating properly—whether that meant providing helpful market information or simply texting the group in a timely fashion—the team learned a number of lessons about succeeding in the marketplace.

“The competition combined fundamental and quantitative knowledge,” Mallis said, “and we learned a lot from our Program’s courses.”

Led by Executive Director Dr. Ahmad Namini, who emailed students encouraging them to join the CME Group Trading Challenge, the MS in Mathematical Finance (MSMF) program is a 17-month program including a summer internship that focuses on the three disciplines of finance, applied mathematics, and computer science.   The results create candidates with core competencies in creating effective investment strategies, quantitative analysis, and risk management.  Each January the graduates start their careers in investment banks, commercial banks, trading firms, and even financial technology and insurance companies.  The Program is one of the pioneering programs, which brings hard-to-find talent to the financial industry.

Team Lighthouse’s journey will end a long way from the scratched McDonald’s table they started at. Placing in the top four they collect a cash prize and an invitation to visit Chicago for CME Group’s Day of Market Education. The invitational conference provides students with an exclusive look into CME Group and the financial industry. Business experts will deliver presentations relevant to the global marketplace, and attendees will view live open outcry trading, learn about CME Group’s electronic trading platform, CME Globex, and join industry leaders for a networking reception and dinner.

BU’s Full-Time MBA Program Ranked 45th by US News & World Report, Part-Time Ranked 34th

March 11th, 2014 in MBA, News, Press Release, Rankings

Boston University School of Management’s full-time MBA program placed 45th on US News & World Report‘s list of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The part-time program ranked 34th on the list of the “Best Part-Time MBA Programs.”

US News & World Report republished its Healthcare Management rankings, where the School’s Health Sector MBA remained 11th overall. Additionally, the School’s recruiter assessment score improved, showing increased employer satisfaction.

The full-time ranking is based on peer school and recruiter surveys, placement success, and incoming student profiles. The part-time ranking is based on peer school surveys, average GMAT score and average GRE quantitative and verbal scores of entering part-time MBA students, work experience, the percentage of the school’s MBA enrollment that is part-time, and their average undergraduate GPA.

    As the School celebrates its centennial, it continues to foster innovation across the MBA program, launching an enhanced curriculum in fall 2013. The new curriculum both prepares students for a rapidly changing global economy and offers deeper disciplinary learning opportunities.

    View the full-time MBA rankings here. The part-time rankings can be found here.

    Boston University School of Management’s MBA Program Ranked 28th in US on CNN Expansión List

    March 11th, 2014 in MBA, News, Press Release, Rankings

    Boston University School of Management’s MBA program placed 46th globally and 28th nationally on CNN Expansión‘s list of the “Best MBA in Mexico and the World.” The ranking represents a one-spot jump for the School among US MBA programs.

    Expansión releases an annual ranking of Global MBA programs, which takes into account a variety of measures, including student quality, faculty research, and school positioning in the Mexican market.

    An internationally focused ranking, the School’s placement on Expansión‘s list demonstrates its fervent mission and strategic vision to “Create Value for the World.” Drawing on positive support and recognition from a broad business community, the School continues to enhance its MBA program in order to provide a world-class educational experience and prepare its students for a shifting global economy.

    View the full list of rankings here.

    Boston University School of Management’s MBA Program 39th in US on Financial Times List

    January 27th, 2014 in Academic Programs, MBA, News, Press Release, Rankings

    The School rose an impressive 20 spots internationally to 75th

    Boston University School of Management’s full-time MBA program ranked 39th among US schools on the Financial Times‘ list of the top global MBA programs. The ranking represents a five-spot jump nationally for the School.

    Internationally, the school experienced a 20-spot jump to 75th, an impressive shift that tied for the largest gain of any ranked school.

    According to alumni responses, which account for nearly 60 percent of the ranking’s weight, BU SMG ranked 39th globally for the number of alumni who recommended the School. Not only is the School producing alumni who find the MBA program fulfilling, it is also attracting faculty who are greatly enhancing their experience. SMG’s research rank rose four spots to 51st in the world, demonstrating the outstanding work of the School’s firm base of scholars and teachers, including 12 new full-time faculty who began this fall.

    “Boston University School of Management’s MBA program provides our exemplary students with a challenging, integrated experience that engages them in key forces transforming our global economy,” said Kenneth W. Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “As our School celebrates its centennial, we are thrilled to see this tremendous external recognition of the strength of the MBA program and faculty.”

    At the turn of the School’s first century, it reflects on its first 100 years and looks toward the future, fostering innovation across the MBA program by launching an enhanced curriculum in fall 2013. The new curriculum both prepares students for a shifting global economy and allows for deeper disciplinary learning opportunities.

    See the Financial Times‘ full list of rankings here.

    Boston University School of Management’s EMBA Named a Top 25 Program in US by Bloomberg Businessweek

    November 8th, 2013 in Academic Programs, EMBA, News, Press Release, Rankings

    Boston University School of Management’s Executive MBA program ranked 30th globally and 24th nationally on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Executive MBA Programs list. This is a strong gain from the prior ranking in 2011, when the program placed in the second tier.

    This biennial ranking measures graduate satisfaction with their EMBA experience, including teaching quality, curriculum, and support, as well as incorporates opinions from program directors of leading EMBA programs. Recent program graduates rated their Boston University EMBA experience 26th in the world, giving an A+ for curriculum. In addition, Boston University EMBA students are tied for the most work experience of any ranked school at 17 years.

    “The Boston University EMBA program provides accomplished executives with a challenging, integrated experience that engages them in key forces transforming our global economy,” said Janice Dolnick, director of the EMBA program. “As our School celebrates its centennial, we are pleased to see this tremendous external recognition of the strength of the EMBA program and its students.”

    This ranking of Boston University’s EMBA program, an 18-month program designed for high-achieving professionals, continues a trend of external recognition as the School enters its centennial year. Last month, the EMBA program was ranked 1st in New England by the Financial Times. Additionally, in July, EMBA was named 19th among US-based programs by the The Economist. For the Businessweek ranking, a survey of program graduates from 2009, 2011, and 2013 contributed to 65 percent of the ranking, with the final 35 percent stemming from a survey of program directors.

    See the full list of rankings here.

    MBA Case Competition Featured in Fortune

    November 4th, 2013 in Case Competition, MBA, News, School, Students

    Student work analyzed, celebrated

    Senior editor of Fortune Ryan Bradley sat in on a recent case competition held by Boston University School of Management, which hosted teams of MBA students from around the world. The teams pitched ideas for a company that they believed would revolutionize health care—and earn them $22,500, plus the support of the event’s two hosts, Merck and Microsoft, to launch their startup. “Interested in seeing what bright MBAs-to-be were dreaming up as viable business solutions to different health care crises,” Bradley attended the competition, ultimately finding a theme within it: gamifying the system.

    One of the many difficulties in treating chronic diseases is that one must adhere to a strict medical regimen and see it through to the end of its prescription. Chronic disease demands chronic medication. Taking medication is no fun, but the idea that it might be made a game is, at least, as old as Mary Poppins. The cost of not adhering to the full prescription of drugs is hundreds of billions of dollars in ongoing medical expenses, to say nothing of all the money lost by a drug manufacturer like Merck. At the BU case competition, the solution to patient recidivism wasn’t a spoonful of sugar but an app on your smartphone, an app that was, without fail, some kind of a game.

    Bradley notes that the judges were not impressed by gamifying health care, as there is no guarantee that taking a pill can be fun, or that users can be trusted to enter accurate information, such as meals eaten or medication taken, into their smartphones. However, a clear winner finally emerged, touted by the Fortune editor as “startlingly different” and a “tangible solution to a real problem.”

    A winner had to be announced by the end of day two, though I was growing weary and skeptical. How refreshing, then, when a team presented an idea startlingly different from all the others. It wasn’t a piece of software at all, but a backpack, filled with durable hardware (solar powered battery charger, lensless microscope, blood diagnostic tests, pulse oximeter) for collecting vital, and valuable, health data. The team was focused on collecting data from the developing world, where much of the population goes unrecorded, but the concept would work in the U.S., too, or anywhere else with people who have limited access to health services.

    Read the full piece here.

    Boston University School of Management’s MBA Program 44th in US on Forbes List

    October 9th, 2013 in Academic Programs, Dean Freeman, MBA, News, Press Release, Rankings

    The ranking represents a 17-spot jump for the School

    Boston University School of Management’s MBA program rose 17 places to rank 44th among US schools on Forbes’ list of “The Best Business Schools.” This increase is the second largest gain of any ranked school.

    This is Forbes’ eighth biennial ranking and is based on a formula that considers the return on investment for completing an MBA program. Using information from the class of 2008, Forbes compared alumni salaries upon entry to the MBA program, at graduation, and salary growth over the next five years. This information was then combined with the opportunity cost of pursing the MBA, including forgone salary and tuition, to determine a student’s return on their investment in an MBA education.

    “Graduates of the class of 2008 were able to advance their careers upon completing the MBA program despite facing a harsh economic environment,” said Kenneth W. Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “Today’s leaders face disruption and transformation, and SMG develops graduates who are ready to tackle these issues, drive change, and lead.”

    As the School celebrates its centennial, it continues to foster innovation across the MBA program, launching an enhanced curriculum in fall 2013. The new curriculum both exposes students to key forces transforming the global economy and provides for deeper disciplinary learning opportunities.

    See Forbes‘ full story and list of rankings here.

    Boston University Places in Top 15 Master’s Programs in Financial Engineering

    September 25th, 2013 in Finance, MSMF, News, Press Release, School

    SMG’s Mathematical Finance program climbs three positions in Quantnet rankings

    Boston University School of Management placed 14th on Quantnet’s list of the top master’s programs in financial engineering in North America, which represents a three-spot jump for the School.

    The School’s 17-month Master of Science in Mathematical Finance program received a total score of 78, with 100 being perfect, missing the 12th position by only a point. It placed 17th in the previous Quantnet ranking.

    The program, which integrates practical domains of mathematics with an in-depth study of the theory and practice of modern finance, has become increasingly competitive, and recognizes that, within three months of graduation, 80 percent of students received job offers.

    Quantnet, an online resource that provides information on education and careers in financial engineering, surveyed program administrators, hiring managers, and quantitative finance professionals in order to compile its rankings.

    See the full list of rankings here. Quantnet encourages current students and recent graduates to write a review of the program here.

    BU Executive MBA Ranked #1 in New England, 19th Nationally by The Economist

    July 24th, 2013 in EMBA, News, Press Release, Rankings, School

    Boston University’s Executive MBA program has been ranked 1st in New England and 19th nationally for programs based solely in the United States by The Economist. BU placed 36th among all executive MBA programs in the world.

    In addition, Boston University placed 10th globally for “Quality of Students” which is determined not only by student metrics, such as incoming work experience, but also includes a student assessment of their classmates. This is The Economist’s first ranking of executive MBA programs and is based on a diverse set of measures of student experience, half of which were influenced by alumni questionnaires of the most recent three classes.

    “We appreciate that this ranking reflects the high levels of alumni satisfaction and achievement within their careers, as they are one of our most important stakeholders,” said Janice Dolnick, EMBA program director. “The BU Executive MBA continues to be a leading program in New England, and as our school celebrates our centennial we look forward to continuing to innovate to prepare our students for the critical challenges they face within their organizations and society.”

    This ranking continues a trend of external recognition of the School of Management’s momentum as it enters its centennial year. The Executive MBA program at Boston University is built upon an innovative integrated curriculum that is increasingly valued by both students and employers. Residing within a leading research university, the BU EMBA program provides students exposure to leading faculty and pioneering research in areas vital for today’s leaders.

    Read more about Boston University’s Executive MBA program here.

    Full coverage of The Economist’s ranking of executive MBA programs can be found here.

    Brazil Field Seminar 2013

    January 11th, 2013 in Brazil Field Seminar, Global Work, Graduate Students, News, PNP

    Group of MBA students traveling to Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Rio De Janeiro

    As part of the annual Brazil Field Seminar trip, a group of MBA students, led by Kristen McCormack, executive-in-residence, senior lecturer, and director of the Public & Nonprofit Management Program, is traveling around the country for two weeks this January to learn firsthand about issues of sustainability, social impact, and entrepreneurship. The group is also blogging daily from Brazil about their experience.

    Thus far, the 2013 trip has included several unique company visits, including Cargill’s Food Innovation Center in Sao Paulo (Cargill is the largest privately held company in Brazil) and Estre, the largest and fastest growing waste management company in Brazil. The group also had an inspiring meeting with three microcredit clients, and spoke with former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

    Of the meeting with the former President, student Ben writes:

    On Brazil’s current leadership, President Cardoso offered his opinion on current President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor President Lula De Silva, both of whom are members of the opposition party, the more liberal workers party. President Cardoso is a supporter of business and believes that the current leadership is intervening too much.   He described the popular Lula as a “pragmatic leader, who is flexible in his principles.”  When asked what makes a great leader, President Cardoso said that what the world needs for great change are giants, and what makes a giant is not someone who imposes his will on the people but rather someone who can persuade others to agree.

    We asked if he was pleased with his own accomplishments and with the future potential of Brazil.  He said “We are making progress…my son and daughter will live better than myself.” He explained that Brazil truly can be a super power, with relatively strong growth, high exports, and huge economic potential, but the focus now needs to change from that quantity to quality: “Look at Denmark, it has a low GDP but a high quality of life.”

    His final piece of advice, and my personal favorite quote of the meeting was: ”Be flexible in your behavior and be consistent in your principles.”

    Follow the Brazil Field Seminar team blog through January 18, or learn more about the Brazil Field Seminar.

    Pictured above is the 2013 Brazil Field Seminar group with Cargill staff at Cargill’s Food Innovation Center in Sao Paulo. Photo via the Brazil Field Seminar blog.