UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Top universities compete in third UCL/UCT Financial Mathematics Team Challenge

28 July 2016

Top universities compete in third annual UCL/UCT Financial Mathematics Team Challenge

The event, hosted by the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) in association with University College London (UCL) and University of Cape Town (UCT), saw teams of mixed masters and doctoral students taking on practical problems in an array of areas pertinent to the financial services industry post the financial crisis.

According to Dr Andrea Macrina, Senior Lecturer at UCL Mathematics and Adjunct Associate Professor at UCT, this is a one-of-a-kind competition that challenges the students to find workable solutions to issues that companies in the financial sector are genuinely interested in seeing resolved.

The participating universities this year were UCL, ETH Zürich, the University of Vienna, the University of Technology Sydney, the Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne in Paris, and UCT.

"The results of this challenge are, in a word, inspiring," said Dr Macrina. "The problems that they research might take the ordinary researcher perhaps a year to complete. What we do is to concentrate the collective effort of a group of people on each problem and have them dedicate 100% of their time to it over the two-week challenge. It is incredible what can be achieved in such a short time."

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The Third Financial Mathematics Team Challenge brings together South African and International graduate students to undertake research in Financial Mathematics on real-world problems in a team setting.

Five teams of mixed Master's and Doctoral students each work on a separate research project for seven days and then present their findings on the final two days. The teams are mentored by academics and practitioners from France, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland and the UK.

Each research problem is proposed by the mentors and industrial partners. The selected projects will be in topical research areas. Each team of students is asked to prepare a report on their findings, which will be collated in a workshop volume.
This volume will then be available to future Team Challenge participants, and Master's and Doctoral students in Financial and Insurance Mathematics.

This is a great opportunity for students to interact and collaborate in the fields of Risk, Financial and Insurance Mathematics.