Quant Guide 2021: Monash University

Melbourne, Australia

Monash University, Clayton campus


Melbourne-based Monash University’s Master of Financial Mathematics has a new academic course director this year: senior lecturer in the school of mathematics Ivan Guo now heads up the variable-length programme. The previous director, Gregoire Loeper, took a position as a senior scientific adviser for BNP Paribas in January 2020. He remains a professor within Monash’s mathematics faculty.

Like last year, the programme is taught in three phases: the first part consists of orientation studies; the second specialist studies; and the third is devoted to professional practice.

Several changes have been made within the framework, however, says Oscar Tian, a senior lecturer in the school of mathematics. More practical electives have been added, he says, including programming classes in the R and Python languages. Other new modules focus on “machine learning techniques, fund management, treasury and trading”.

The final phase of the programme has also been tweaked to incorporate a “mixed pathway”, enabling students to take some electives on top of their part-time internship or project.

Many of the master’s students, Tian says, weren’t able to make it to Australia. Seventeen of the 23-person cohort are international, and he says that a large number are undertaking study without setting foot on campus. The current Covid-19 travel restrictions prohibit most prospective entrants from entering the country. A small list of exemptions includes Australian citizens, immediate family members and diplomats.

“Due to the travel ban introduced by the government in February, most of our students are in their home countries,” says Tian, adding that remote examinations have so far been reasonably successful.

While online exams are not ideal for financial mathematics, he adds, “most units have found a good balance between assessing the students’ understanding and maintaining integrity. Some units have even started to incorporate programming-based tasks where relevant”.

View this institution’s entry in the 2020 guide

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