Providing National University of Singapore Students With Real-Life Quantitative Trading Experience
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The National University of Singapore FinTech Lab is a program that combines academia with industry expertise. Singapore is a central hub for innovation and tech, and the program was developed in consultation with large tech companies to educate young adults and prepare them for a career in tech. The FinTech Lab serves students of all levels of coding experience, and the industry participation gives students a direct pipeline into a number of Singapore’s numerous fintech companies.
The program places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning, said lead engineer Shashank Tripathi. The purpose of the program is to break down barriers and show students that quantitative finance is not rocket science, he said. They want to show young students that a career in fintech is attainable with hard work. While the program as a whole focuses on student’s professional development, program leaders also serve as mentors. “I also want to motivate them for their personal financial management as well because of how important it is especially right now, in these times, to prepare for your future.”
The hands-on program is tier-based, beginning with an introduction to the fintech space before moving into quantitative finance and its applications. The last step, Shashank said, is where QuantConnect is used, assisting in the students’ practical learning experience.
A core part of this curriculum is based on understanding basic concepts of trading, learning trading strategies, and building algorithms. Students use QuantConnect to build their algorithms, going through Boot Camps and getting step-by-step help in building strategies on the platform. Ultimately, they spend days perfecting their algos to submit to instructors as an assignment. From there, students can get involved in an apprenticeship at leading organizations like UBS, Bank of Singapore, and DBS Bank.
“What we have done is designed this course in consultation with these companies, and we are only teaching that which is required in the market,” said Shashank.
Shashank, who has been a QuantConnect member for three years before the program integration, said QuantConnect is particularly helpful because the comprehensive documentation provides a strong platform for students to build off of. He also said that while he prefers his students to build their code by themselves, the Algorithm Framework library can be essential in helping students sharpen their developing skills.
Quotes lightly edited for readability.