What makes the FSC Unique:
The Financial Systems Center (FSC) at Stevens Institute of Technology is not the typical University Financial Center. Distinguishing characteristics that set the FSC apart are its focus on systems thinking, contextual learning and the state-of-the-art Hanlon Financial Systems Lab.
1. Systems Thinking
Most programs provide competitive training in analysis of financial problems. The FSC philosophy respects the analytic aspects of financial engineering and quantitative finance and adds the distinguishing emphasis on synthesis.
Synthesis cannot be done without systems thinking. The recent financial crisis exposed the shortcomings of deploying compartmentalized analytic methods only in solving financial problems. The concept and model of learning by analysis complemented by synthesis leads to enhancing both the ability to investigate (Granger) causalities at different hierarchies and components, on one hand, and the ability to synthesize unlimited scenarios for predictability on the other.
2. "Contextual Learning"
Most programs provide the core financial engineering (FE) skills. The FSC philosophy goes beyond the core skills to include focal interdisciplinary skills such as management in FE, software engineering in FE, cybersecurity in FE and systems and technology in FE. The new financial engineer is required to have multiple sets of skills to encompass the complexity of future problems and accommodate its context. It is no longer just about instrumentation modeling but about context as well.
3. Financial Laboratory
Most programs have well-funded financial laboratories. Labs are about experiments, back-testing, scenario generation and catastrophe prediction. The heart of the FSC, the Hanlon Financial Systems Lab follows our pedagogical beliefs and it is where prototypical contextual learning will be brought to life. The lab depends on cutting-edge financial software engineering practices that maintain stability, sustainability and reliability of the financial systems.
In addition to the fundamentals, the Hanlon Financial Systems Lab is equipped to provide the investigative tools and media needed to resolve current and future financial systemic challenges. Those challenges in problem areas such as: propagation of disturbances, self-organization and pattern emergence and minimizing damages due to financial cybersecurity breach have proven to be highly complex phenomena that can only be resolved by training and preparing industry personnel, regulators and researchers as the future financial systems experts.