New Weissman-Zicklin Financial Engineering Hub is announced

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Baruch College President S. David Wu announced on May 10 that the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and the Zicklin School of Business are partnering to create a new Financial Engineering Hub that will build on the school’s Master of Financial Engineering program.

“I am thrilled to announce the launch of the Financial Engineering Hub at Baruch College,” Wu’s statement read in part. “Our MFE program embodies the best that Baruch has to offer— grounded in rigorous academics, leveraging world class talents and resources of New York City, while providing access to diverse students from all over the world.”

In addition to building on the graduate school’s financial engineering track, the hub will also include new degree offerings for students, including dual-degree, executive and non-degree programs, while drawing on expertise of faculty from both schools.

“Financial engineering uses algorithms incorporating math, science, precision, and objectivity to analyze and predict markets,” a Weissman news release stated. “These quantitative methods have become increasingly important with every shock to the market, from the dot-com crash in the 1990s, to the stock market collapse in 2008, to the economic fallout from the pandemic.”

The Financial Engineering Hub is still in the development stage. It is being worked on by Weissman Interim Dean Jessica Lang, Master of Financial Engineering program Co-Director and Mathematics Department Chair Warren Gordon and Presidential Professor Jim Gatheral.

“The Hub, as a unit, was designed to bring together the Center for Financial Engineering and multiple departments each of which will contribute resources to further its growth and contribute to related programs,” Gordon told The Ticker in an email statement. “Baruch’s Hub will be a place for intellectual, academic, community and social exchange, interaction, communication, and learning.”

The Financial Engineering Hub will formally be within Zicklin. Its members will be comprised of faculty in the Weissman mathematics, finance and proposed risk management departments.

“The Hub will be an intellectual powerhouse, hosting distinguished speakers, panel events, and student sessions that focus on research, education, recruitment, current students, and alumni,” Gordon said. “We expect wonderful opportunities to arise for the Baruch Community from this partnership between Weissman and Zicklin.”

For now, co-chairs and a steering committee of Weissman and Zicklin faculty will be named. The committee will monitor advancements and changes in the field, propose amendments to existing curriculum and help to develop the new degree offerings.

A public-facing Center for Financial Engineering will open up during the fall 2021 semester through the Zicklin School of Business. It will provide networking and partnership opportunities, while being “assisted by an advisory council comprising industry leaders and experts,” according to the Baruch News Center.

“The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences is excited at the opportunity for closer collaboration with our sister school, the Zicklin School of Business,” Lang said in an email statement to The Ticker. “Interdisciplinary and collaborative learning and research are central to WSAS’s values and mission. The Financial Engineering Hub is a wonderful expression of this and will create more opportunities for engagement in multiple areas across the college.”

The Financial Engineering Hub and Center come as just another accolade for the school’s Master of Financial Engineering program.

Among other things, the program was ranked No. 1 in the United States in the 2021 QuantNet Ranking of MFE Programs and No. 2 worldwide in the 2021 Risk Quant Finance Master’s Programs Ranking.

Students in the program also participate in international trading and financial competitions.

Baruch teams have placed first in the Rotman International Trading Competition in 2021, 2020, 2017, 2016 and 2012 and first in the International Association of Financial Engineers competition in 2020, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Additionally, Master of Financial Engineering program students who graduated in December 2020 earned an average first-year salary of $150,000, plus sign-on bonuses, at companies including Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., IMC Financial Markets and JPMorgan Chase % Co.