Financial Engineering Program Graduates Class of ’13, Welcomes Class of ’14

The Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) Program celebrated 66 graduates at their commencement March 22 and welcomed 68 students into the 13th class of the program on March 25.

Commencement speaker Robert Litzenberger, a professor emeritus at Wharton and expert on derivatives and risk, sent off the 12th graduation class of the MFE Program, the nation's first financial engineering program to be housed in a business school. Litzenberger, who was named Risk Manager of the Year by Risk Magazine in 2001 and inducted into its Risk Hall of Fame in 2003, discussed modifications to academic financial theory suggested by events in financial markets, starting with the collapse in October 1987 through current problems. Litzenberger also drew from his experience working as director of derivative research and quantitative modeling in Goldman Sachs' Fixed Income Division and Goldman's firm-wide risk manager.

A group of students were awarded the $5,000 Morgan Stanley Applied Finance Project Award: Yanping Chong, Weixian (Victor) Kong, Matthew Tochterman, Junyue (Pierre) Xu, and Hangying Yu.  Professor Nancy Wallace advised the team on their winning paper, titled for “Modeling Seasonality in Commodity Price Dynamics."

Executive Director Linda Kreitzman presented the MFE Defining Principles Awards to Haohan “Alfred” Yuan, Student Always; Raghav Kao and Yann LeVacon, Beyond Yourself; Charles Reed and Saransh Mittal, Question the Status Quo; and Yi Zhang, Confidence without Attitude.

Kaushik Goswami received the $1,000 Arthur Chengchun Qi Scholarship, which asks students to write an essay on the book that has had the most impact on them. The scholarship to cover the cost of books was created in honor of Qi, an MFE student who loved books, after he passed away suddenly last year.

Students awarded Cheit teaching awards to Professor Richard Stanton and graduate student instructor Aya Bellicha, MFE 09. Yang Guo, MFE 12, received the Special Alumnus Award: Outstanding Teaching and Service to the MFE Program.

The 68 students in the MFE class of 2014 arrived at Berkeley-Haas Monday, March 25, for orientation and began classes today, April 1.

Students in the new class come from 17 countries, including China, India, France, Mexico, Chile, and Australia. They bring experience from such organizations as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays Capital. More than 40 percent of the students have graduate degrees, and nearly 12 percent have PhDs.