March 29, 2024

The High Five: March 2024

The High Five: March 2024
Smith's AI Symposium kicks off groundbreaking research. Check out the AI Maps project tracking job trends. Finance Grand Challenges Series dives into federal budget. Revolutionary Mortgage Climate Risk Analyzer launched. New faculty hired!

We started the year with the inaugural AI Symposium for Design and Governance, a huge success that brought some of the top minds in artificial intelligence to campus. Professors Anil Gupta, Siva Viswanathan and Kunpeng Zhang are making a splash with their new AI Maps project. Use the tool to check out the AI job trends in your state. Many more of our faculty are working on exciting AI research projects and bringing that knowledge into the classroom for our students.

Our students are also hearing from leaders in industry and government this semester with our new Finance Grand Challenges Speaker Series. Our first event tackled the federal budget with Congressional Budget Office Director Phillip Swagel and economist Tyler Goodspeed, with our own Michael Faulkender as moderator.

The Smith Enterprise Risk Consortium just launched the new Mortgage Climate Risk Analyzer, which Clifford Rossi and his students developed from an experiential learning project with Freddie Mac. Our corporate partners and alumni continue to be engaged in hands-on learning opportunities for our students, and we are always welcoming new participants. We're also actively looking for more faculty members in addition to the five professors who will join us in the coming months. Our community continues to grow and thrive, and that has me full of excitement and energy as we head into spring!

Prabhudev C. Konana
Dean, Robert H. Smith School of Business

1. Researchers Launch Map to Track New AI Jobs Across the U.S.

The Smith School launched the interactive website UMD-LinkUp AI Maps to track new job postings each month that require skills in artificial intelligence. Professor Anil K. Gupta is leading the project, along with professors Siva Viswanathan and Kunpeng Zhang and PhD student Hanwen Shi. They are working with job data tracker LinkUp and consulting company Outrigger Group. The online tool, which uses AI, ranks states by their share of jobs and shows a region's AI “intensity,” the ratio of AI job postings to all other postings. It shows that together, D.C., Virginia and Maryland lead the nation in the percentage of job postings requiring AI skills, and overall, the D.C. region is the second-biggest hub of new AI jobs. The tool is the latest in Smith’s charge to better understand how AI is impacting business and the economy. In January, the school hosted its first annual AI Symposium on Design and Governance with policy and industry thought leaders, including keynote speaker Aneesh Chopra, who was the U.S. government’s first chief technology officer. READ MORE

2. Finance Grand Challenges Event Tackles Federal Budget with CBO Director

The Smith School introduced its Finance Grand Challenges Speaker Series, examining the “Unsustainable U.S. Federal Budget,” with Phillip Swagel, Congressional Budget Office director, and Tyler Goodspeed, chief economist of ExxonMobil and former acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The monthly series brings together finance leaders, policymakers and scholars to tackle some of the industry’s most pressing issues, including how technology is revolutionizing finance, the student loan burden and the national debt. The March event looked at the future of fintech. Michael Faulkender, Dean’s Professor of Finance and former assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, serves as host and moderator. READ MORE

3. Revolutionary Tool Analyzes Mortgage Risk from Climate Hazards

Officials from the Maryland Department of Emergency Management were on campus to see a new tool that could change how they calculate risk from climate hazards. Clifford Rossi, professor of the practice and director of the Smith Enterprise Risk Consortium, and student researchers demonstrated their Mortgage Climate Risk Analyzer, an interactive dashboard that shows just how vulnerable a mortgage is to physical risks caused by climate disasters. Rossi and his Master of Quantitative Finance students developed the online tool – which will be available by subscription and in a free, scaled-down version – from a recent experiential learning project for government-sponsored mortgage enterprise Freddie Mac. READ MORE

4. Smith Hires New Marketing, Finance, Information Technology Faculty

The Smith School is adding to its already impressive faculty with five new hires. In marketing, Daniel McCarthy will join Smith as an associate professor from Emory University with a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Xinying Hao will be an assistant professor, joining from Arizona State, with a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. And Cathy Chen was hired as a clinical associate professor, currently a visiting professor at Bucknell University with a PhD from UCLA. Tania Babina will join the finance faculty from Columbia University, where she is an assistant professor with a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the decision, operations and information technologies department, John Silberholz, a UMD grad with a PhD from MIT, will be the newest assistant professor, currently in the same position at the University of Michigan. The school is actively seeking additional professors in finance, information technology and accounting. READ MORE

5. Record Number of Companies, Alumni Engage in Experiential Learning

In fall 2023, Smith’s Office of Experiential Learning engaged with 164 companies and hosted 178 guests – including 101 alumni – for 72 classroom experiences. Of those, 18 courses had live cases and 16 courses had capstone projects, where students worked with one or more corporate partners. Of all Smith courses, 20% included experiential learning. This semester has top companies in the classroom again, including BSE Global, Deloitte IBM, Kaiser Permanente and many more. READ MORE

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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 flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business 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.

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