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Illinois Institute of Technology Mathematical Finance program

IIT Math Finance

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Recent Reviews

  1. newfiltration
    newfiltration
    5/5,
    A program always make you believe you will perform better in Quant World!(2011.08 – 2013.05)

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    The program’s curriculum has a great combined flavor from theoretical perspective and practical projects. From theoretical SIDE, the professors from Math department gave out great lectures from theoretical stochastic processes to classical mathematical finance theory to frontier credit risk modeling. From practical side, professors who are QUANTS from industry talked about fixed income modeling, numerical financial programming, etc. The learning experiences make you feel you are learning new things based on your knowledge and do better jobs.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    The connection between the program and industrial who wants to hire MFEs is not yet strong. Also, the program focuses more on stochastic processes way of modeling financial instruments. It lacks training on statistical methods (unless you took some elective courses which have unparalleled quality as compared with those required courses). At Chicago where quant trading firm/buy side needs statistical experts, this might not very good. But from sell-side or large banks’ perspective, this might be, on the contrary, one strong point.

    Career services
    Career services are becoming better. Although most companies coming to school or posting jobs on board are not financial company, they are still trying to bring in more. But like most quant program in USA, finding jobs are individual work. Career Management guy will try their best helping preparing your portfolios.

    Student body
    All Are Chinese students without prior experiences. That’s why we have more academia flavor.
    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    Program director or associate director actually have strong connection with industry people around the world. If they can bring in those kinds of relationships into the program, the program will deserve a 5+ star!

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    Already got two offers which are closely related to what I learnt.

    Other comments
    If you are really into mathematical finance/FE/Quant and would like to learn as hard as you can, you will love the program, the faculty, the students and with several job offers and director’s warning messages as your graduation gifts.
  2. anonymous
    anonymous
    4/5,
    Solid knowledge of Mathematical Finance Theory

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    It has a rigorous course work. There are courses about mathematical finance theory (arbitrage, martingales, changes of measures, etc), courses on specific markets (fixed income, credit derivatives and equity trading), and practical courses on implementation of these concepts (montecarlo, computational finance, quantitative trading strategies).
    Group is small (up to 20 students) so you get to know all the people in your program and have a pretty easy access to the instructors.
    It is affordable. Good price-quality ratio.
    Chicago location is also great.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    The program is relatively new so it is not widely recognized.
    There are not many students with previous working experience. This means not much discussion about practical problems in class.
    The program doesn't have strong connections with the industry yet.

    Career services
    IIT has a very big masters program in Finance. Although the Master in Mathematical Finance is a separate program the Career Services are the same. There are many students looking for internships compared to the number of openings they post on their website.

    Student body
    Few domestic students.
    Few students with previous working experience.
    Most international students are Asian, few from other regions.
  3. Guest
    Guest
    5/5,
    Alway beyond your expectation!

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    Small program, excellent professors and students, located in Chicago

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    Theoretical classes are not that useful

    Career services
    The alumuni network is growing. School career service is fairly good. Graduates worked mostly in financial institutions, trading floors and different types of programmers.

    Student body
    80% international
  4. intentionally anonymous
    intentionally anonymous
    4/5,
    Mathematically emphasized program targeting on teaching candidates how to be a successful entry level quant.

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    Professors from Applied Math Department have solid knowledge in Mathematical Finance and do excellent jobs in giving high quality lectures. Adjunct faculties who work in the industry offer great help for students to understand financial engineering as in real world. Their projects and homeworks require students to work exactlly the same like real quants. There are also some good professors from Stuart School of Business. So the program is very well structured and the courses are theoretically and practically combined. Also as far as I know, the directors of this program are working hard on admitting high standard students.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    I hope the general quality of finance professors could be raised. If the business school could hire more good faculties as the Math Department does, then the program could only be more competitive.

    Career services
    Generally speaking, job applications through career management center's website have bigger chances to earn interviews. The school is trying hard to help students network with alumnis and practitioners in the industry. Also, professors will recommend good students in the program to internships and jobs once in a while. However, companies seem to prefer applicants from schools that have better reputations like UChicago, although I believe IIT MMF offers a better structured program.

    Student body
    Most students are from China. Based on my observation at IAFE NYU career fair, it is the same for almost every similar program in the US though.
  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    4/5,
    Can you tell us a bit about your background?
    GPA 3.5, GMAT 730, Bachelor of Financial Engineering
    I studied full-time in the program from 8/2008 to 7/2010

    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    yes, some other schools

    Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
    The location cannot be compared to Chicago. And IIT grants me 50% tuition waiver.

    What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
    Alumni and internet

    Tell us about the application process at this program
    I did the transfer from MSF program. So Professor Cialenco conducted an interview with me to make sure I have qualified analytical and mathematical background

    Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
    No

    Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
    I really love Mathematical Finance, Fixed Income, Computational Finance. They really teach me a lot about real-life models, algorithms and programming skills.

    Tell us about the quality of teaching
    They do combine the academic with the real-life market things very well to teach the students. Professor Bielecki earns a big name in academia of risk management. He teaches me in math finance and Stochastic Processing. He is pretty humorous and knowledgeable. Even though it needs a lot of efforts to work for an A in his class, it is really worth it and helps you learn a lot. Also, I really like the adjunct faculties. They all work in industry. Professor Lyashenko works as head of Quantitative Research at QRM. Professor Boonstra works as Director of Quantitative Research at UBS. Professor Heilprin works as Vice President at Juno Investments LLC. They are always willing to help you with their experience and knowledge, and offer you another perspective from real-life side.

    Materials used in the program
    They use some famous books. Teachers' notes are very helpful

    Programming component of the program
    Python, Matlab, C++

    Projects
    They offer diverse projects. Some are theoretical and Some are connected to industry a lot.

    Career service
    CMC works with job postings. And some professors have connections with industry. They ask for potential candidates from students.

    What do you like about the program?
    I would say that the most valuable thing in the program is the faculty. The faculties here are not only good at teaching but also have charming personality, which influences you a lot.

    What DON’T you like about the program?
    None

    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    do more efforts to help international students find jobs

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    Analyst in Citigroup

    Other comments
    Make good use of resources and work hard!
  6. supriyor
    supriyor
    4/5,
    Can you tell us a bit about your background?
    Bachelors & Masters combined ( 5 years) in Mathematics (minor in CS) with no prior work experience. I studied full-time in the program from 2007 to 2009

    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    I dropped PhD admits in CS/Applied Maths elsewhere to pursue Finance field and came to IIT.
    During my first sem at IIT, I did apply to other Financial Engineering programs as I didnt apply before and had admits from UChicago, Rutgers and Columbia (Math Dept.)

    Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
    Cost of the program. Credit crunch had begun in 2007 itself. At that time, I didn't want to take the risk of changing university and go for any of the expensive programs that I got admit to.

    What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
    When I applied , I used Global Derivatives website to learn about this field of financial engineering.

    Tell us about the application process at this program
    It is the same as other universities. There are no interviews. Additionally, the program offers scholarship in the tuition fees based on your background. I got 50% off in my tuition fees.

    Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
    No Refresher Courses.

    Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
    IIT Chicago offers two programs - one is Masters in Finance (MSF) offered by Business School and other is Masters in Mathematical Finance (MMF) offered combinedly by Mathematics Department and Business School. There is lot of flexibility for students in both the programs. Students in Math Finance can take courses from Business school as their electives and students from Finance course can take Math Finance courses.
    I particularly liked Stochastic Processes, Fixed Income Modeling and Computational Finance (Numerical Methods) courses the most.

    Tell us about the quality of teaching
    Quality of Teaching varies from professor to professor. There are about 4 professors including practitioners who are very good. After this, I think its more of responsibility of student to make best use of faculty.

    Materials used in the program
    Shreve- Part I and II for Mathematical Finance Courses. For the rest of courses, notes were good enough.

    Programming component of the program
    Programming component of the program still lacks the emphasis for C++ over other programs like Baruch. Many courses use Excel/VBA, Matlab for implementation. There are separate dedicated C++ courses available though.

    Projects
    Every course has its own one final project. The value of projects can be enhanced for job search by doing them in C++ either on your own or by bringing change in the course itself.
    Mathematical Finance courses which were more theoretical had research projects to be done in groups.

    Career service
    The career service part is not good at the school and here is where it goes wrong despite being well-structured and having a good faculty. Networking with faculty and seniors is helpful but there was not much help available from the career center in regards to job postings etc.
    I was in this course from 2007-2009, time of credit crunch. I came to know from my friends in UChicago that their career service was not doing good either.
    But even otherwise, in normal times, I heard many complaints about the career service from my seniors. I am not aware of the current status but hope it has improved now.

    What do you like about the program?
    I would like to compare this program to other available programs in Chicago. I personally found it to be better structured, length is 1.5 years which is required to properly understand the hard subjects in the program.
    Specially, if you are a full-time student and really interested in learning quantitative finance, it makes more sense to spend 1.5 years as opposed to rushing through all subjects in 1 year.
    Secong thing I liked was return on my investment. The program is not very expensive plus you get waivers based on your background.

    What DON’T you like about the program?
    Little emphasis on C++ in the course structure and the career services.

    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    Since IIT Chicago has 2 programs- MSF and MMF, MMF gets overshawdowed from MSF.
    Most of the students who apply to IIT actually opt MSF. It is not very well known outside, that the school also offers MMF program which is different from MSF.
    The director and the other professors involved in MMF program have good admission standards for this program.
    MMF program needs to be more known outside.
    The second suggestion is to change implementation in courses to C++.
    The third suggestion is to improve the career services in general.

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    Working in Quant Risk Management in a role similar to that of Financial Engineer.

    Other comments
    If you are targeting jobs in Chicago, then I would rate the program as 4 or 4.5. But if you are targeting Wall Street, then 3 or 3.5.