News at Smith

Fearless Idea 18: Avert Financial Crises

Mar 18, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

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SMITH BRAIN TRUST — Information systems professor Louiqa Raschid learned valuable lessons from her involvement in developing the Sahana Open Source system for natural disaster recovery management that was used effectively for such events as Superstorm Sandy. Currently, she’s leading an effort to monitor and avert a different disaster type  a financial crisis.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a grant to the University of Maryland in 2016-17 for the "Financial Entity Identification and Information Integration Challenge." Raschid subsequently was tapped to help organize and direct participating research teams of academics and industry experts from the likes of Thomson Reuters and IBM. These participants are developing “a global identifier system" (detailed here) to solve what the Office of Financial Research describes as a “messy but important problem” for risk management and regulatory oversight of thousands of financial transactions that happen around the world every day.

The FEIII Challenge will counter a problem that surrounds large banks as they operate multiple business lines with similar names, and as they evolve, Raschid says. She points to a recent OFR illustration of this obstacle: “Is ‘J.P. Morgan’ in a financial contract the same entity as ‘JPMorgan Chase & Co.’ cited in an academic journal? Does either use the ‘JPM’ stock ticker symbol? Is there a connection to ‘JPMorgan Chase Bank’ and its identifying code in the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) database?”

“Such a scenario makes it difficult for regulators to precisely link financial datasets to one another, identify counterparties and cross-reference data,” Raschid says.

Regulators won’t be the only benefactors, as the new system brings broad implications. The system will facilitate practitioner and researcher cross-referencing to track the complex hierarchies and networks of ownership, and control of corporations and holding companies, she says. “This will benefit financial institutions, data providers and academic researchers, as well,” she says. 

Louiqa Raschid is a professor of information systems for the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and holds appointments with UMD’s Institute for Advanced Computing Studies (UMIACS) and the Department of Computer Science. 

Research interests: Computer science and business information systems, with a strong link to data science applications, including the life sciences and health sciences, humanitarian disaster relief applications, human behavior modeling within social streams, and the modeling and management of financial ecosystems.

Selected Accomplishments: About 150 papers in leading journals/conferences and covering databases, scientific computing, Web data management, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence; research awards including more than 25 grants from the National Science Foundation and DARPA; founding director of the Sahana FOSS project for disaster information management; fellow of the ACM.

About this series: The Smith School faculty is celebrating Women’s History Month 2017 in partnership with ADVANCE, an initiative to transform the University of Maryland by investing in a culture of inclusive excellence. Daily faculty spotlights support activities from the school’s Office of Diversity Initiatives, culminating with the sixth annual Women Leading Women forum on March 30, 2017.

Other fearless ideas from: Rajshree Agarwal  |  Ritu Agarwal  |  Leigh Anenson  |  Kathryn M. Bartol  |  Christine Beckman  |  Margrét Bjarnadóttir  |  M. Cecilia Bustamante  |  Rellie Derfler-Rozin  |  Waverly Ding  |  Wedad J. Elmaghraby  |  Rosellina Ferraro  |  Rebecca Hann  |  Amna Kirmani  |  Hanna Lee  |  Hui Liao  |  Wendy W. Moe  |  Courtney Paulson  |  Louiqa Raschid  |  Rebecca Ratner  |  Rachelle Sampson  |  Debra L. Shapiro  |  Cynthia Kay Stevens  |  M. Susan Taylor  |  Vijaya Venkataramani  |  Janet Wagner  |  Yajin Wang  |  Yajun Wang  |  Liu Yang  |  Jie Zhang  |  Lingling Zhang  |  PhD Candidates

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.