The Mathematics in Finance program at the Courant Institute represents a unique collaboration between industry and academia. Its strength is the active participation of a world-class faculty in mathematics and computing coupled with significant participation from finance professionals both in the teaching of classes and mentoring of master's theses. This three-semester program seeks outstanding students from a variety of backgrounds including recent graduates with B.A.s in mathematics, the physical sciences, computer science, economics, and finance. We also encourage part-time enrollment of financial professionals seeking to increase their understanding of the quantitative side of finance.
At Courant, we emphasize the teaching of quantitative methods as applied to finance. Thus the program serves equal parts of rigorous mathematics, computing, theory and modeling, and practical finance. The classes are taught by either Courant Institute faculty members or Financial Mathematics Fellows, financial professionals with expertise in particular areas of quantitative finance. We expect that entering students will already excel in some areas of the program and need significant training in others. Our classes, as a consequence, house a diversity of students who learn as much from each other as from the instructors. Speaking from experience, I can say that the instructors learn quite a bit from each other.
Students of the Courant Institute program will seek jobs in a variety of areas in finance, including derivatives pricing and trading, risk management, asset management, and financial software development. Part of the program emphasizes career development. We hold regular seminars on job opportunities in the financial world and have several corporate recruiters who give general career advice, as well as employ a presentation specialist to help students with their overall presentation skills, an important and often neglected side of student development. Student starting salaries and titles will vary according to the firm in which they find employment and their previous work experience.