Finance Lab's Purpose and History

Mission Statement

The Financial Markets Laboratory will provide world-class teaching and research opportunities in financial markets for the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

— A message from the first Financial Markets Lab director, Dr. Russ Wermers

Our vision was to design and build a lab structure with technology to support financial research and to help educate business students for the financial environment of the 21st century. The lab enables access to leading-edge financial analysis software and real-time international financial data feeds to provide Smith School students with the hands-on modeling experience that will give them an edge in competing for the most promising careers in various subfields of finance. We view the impact on student education and employment opportunities as the number one priority for this lab.

A second priority for the lab is to enable research in the areas of market microstructure, risk management strategies, derivatives pricing, financing and valuation of knowledge-based companies, and other technology-driven financial research areas. The lab enables participants to conduct analyses in real-time, using the most advanced analytical software available. In addition, we wish to evaluate, in a research setting, various software products that become available for the teaching mission of the lab before fully implementing them in a teaching setting.

Thus, our vision for the lab was to create one of the most advanced research and teaching environments in the world. The lab:

  • Provides cutting-edge training in financial modeling and analysis for undergraduate and MBA finance courses, as well as enabling the development of certificate programs in contemporary issues in finance, such as risk management, derivatives strategies, and structured products;
  • Supports and enhances academic research through the availability of extensive data;
  • Stimulates opportunities for collaborative research and teaching alliances among fields such as logistics, operations research, accounting systems, information systems, and finance; and;
  • Serves as an information repository for live feed data and financial databases needed for both research and teaching.
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