Sean Cao Directory Page
Director and Co-founder of the AI Initiative for Capital Market Research
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Cao is the Director and Founding faculty of the AI Initiative for Capital Market Research and holds the position of associate professor (with tenure) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. Additionally, he is an affiliated professor at Harvard Business School (D^3 Institute). Dr. Cao's research primarily revolves around the applications and implications of AI for capital markets, covering both accounting and finance research. His overarching aim is to establish a meaningful connection between academic AI research and its impact on industry applications and regulatory considerations, ultimately benefiting both business faculty and students.
Dr. Cao's research work has gained prominence in respected media outlets such as the Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Guardian, Quartz, and IR Magazine. Over the years, he has delivered more than 100 invited research talks at major research universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, MIT Sloan, University of Cambridge, and University of Michigan as well as at national regulatory and policy-advisory agencies, such as Central Bank of Japan, Central Bank of Thailand, the SEC, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the NBER. His research papers, some co-authored with PhD students, have received several best paper awards at prestigious conferences and have been published in leading journals in finance, accounting, and computer science including the Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Review of Financial Studies, The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Management Science, and IEEE Computer. Dr. Cao also contributes as a guest associate editor at Management Science and serves as a track chair for Big Data, Fintech, and Blockchain at the American Accounting Association.
Dr. Cao is deeply committed to helping business communities through his research. In addition to his role in leading and founding the AI initiative at the University of Maryland, he has been honored with an award from the Deloitte Initiative for AI and Learning (DIAL). In the Deloitte program, he plays a pivotal role in developing AI solutions for social inclusion and climate change. His research has been presented and applied in leading industry firms such as J.P. Morgan, State Street Boston, Accenture, Grant Thornton, Wolfe Research, NIV Asset Management, and Founder Securities.
In 2020 and 2022, Dr. Cao co-chaired conferences with the Review of Financial Studies (dual submission) on Fintech and Machine Learning. These conferences attracted an average of 150 high-quality submissions annually in the field of AI and Fintech, totaling approximately 500 working papers over three years, contributed by preeminent scholars in finance and accounting. For more information, please visit https://sites.google.com/view/seancao/home.
Dr. Cao's passion for research extends to his teaching. He is dedicated to providing students with the latest learning materials, emphasizing a robust data analytics component to prepare them for successful careers. His teaching abilities have been recognized, with him being ranked in the top 10 percent for outstanding teaching university-wide at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and well-received in the classroom at the University of Maryland. In his PhD seminar at the University of Maryland, he blends classical capital market research with emerging technologies. Dr. Cao has been invited externally by major research universities to teach short-term doctoral seminars on AI and Fintech for both finance and accounting departments. Furthermore, he also writes an AI textbook for accounting/finance and runs a tutorial blog site (YouTube: Sean Cao_Fintech or Bilibili ID: Seancao_) that is designed to assist scholars outside of computer science in seamlessly integrating machine learning into finance and accounting research.
Research Fellowships, Awards and Keynote Talks
Award recipient of Deloitte Initiative for AI and Learning for developing trustworthy AI for social equity and climate change
American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Best paper award winner (with coauthors), From Man vs. Machine to Man + Machine: The Art and AI of Stock Analyses, 2022 Midwest Finance Association
Best Paper Award Winner (with coauthors), From Man vs. Machine to Man + Machine: The Art and AI of Stock Analyses, 2022 Global AI Finance Conference
Best Paper Award Winner (with coauthors), From Man vs. Machine to Man + Machine: The Art and AI of Stock Analyses, 2022 CFRC Conference, PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University
Best Paper Award Winner (with coauthors), From Man vs. Machine to Man + Machine: The Art and AI of Stock Analyses, 2022 Annual Conference in Digital Economics, ACDE
Best Paper Award Winner in Asset Pricing (with coauthors), From Man vs. Machine to Man + Machine: The Art and AI of Stock Analyses, 2022 SFS Cavalcade Asia-Pacific Conference
Winner of the AMTD FinTech Centre Prize (with coauthors), How to Talk When Machines are Listening: Corporate Disclosure in the Age of AI, 2022 Asian Finance Association Conference
Best Paper Award Winner (with coauthors), How to Talk When Machines are Listening: Corporate Disclosure in the Age of AI, 2021CAPANA Research Conference
Keynote Speaker for “Machine Learning, AI and FinTech in Capital Market” at Stock Exchange of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand, July 2023
Panel Speaker at “2023 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence”
Panel Speaker at the Academy of Management conference for “Textual and Voice Analysis for CEO Traits and Emotion: Challenges and Future Research Directions”, August 2022
Keynote and Panel Speaker for “Latest NLP models in capital market research” at Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München), Germany, Nov 18 - 19, 2021
Panel Speaker at “Toronto Rotman CPA Conference” (with 2,000 FinTech professionals and industry participants), Canada
See video broadcasted on Feb 17, 2021