This programme is about high-level mathematics applied to practical problems in finance and industry. It is designed for holders of an honours BA or B.Sc. in Mathematics (or a closely-related field) who want to gain a working knowledge of up-to-date financial and industrial modelling, thereby opening up new career opportunities for themselves.
This programme is based on the idea that high academic content and relevance to the real world are not mutually exclusive; indeed the full power of a mathematical theory is revealed only when it is put to use to solve practical problems. In this course, abstract theories are never presented for their own sake; equally we avoid fruitless lists of disconnected case studies. We believe that an integrated presentation of the theory and its use in practice is the optimal approach.
For the student, the resulting blend of sophisticated mathematics and significant applications is intellectually satisfying: the motivation to explore general concepts springs from their potential practical applications; these serve in turn to illustrate general methods. The student learns that the potential inherent in general concepts extends far beyond the specific applications covered in any given course.
For the employer, graduates who have at their command a wide spectrum of general methods and the ability to adapt them to new situations are infinitely more valuable than ones who are merely equipped with specific and thus limited skills.
The recent explosion of the derivative security market has created an unprecedented need for highly-sophisticated mathematics within the banking sector. With new exotic options appearing on the market every year, it is essential for the financial analyst to understand in-depth the random nature of the stock market. This requires a high degree of proficiency in the techniques of stochastic analysis. No other programme addresses these demands in Ireland at present. DCU is in a unique position to fill this gap because of its long-standing commitment to the field of financial mathematics, as testified by our B.Sc. in Financial Mathematics and the Edgeworth Centre for Financial Mathematics, located in the School of Mathematical Sciences.
In 2009, the School was awarded the only Stokes Chair in Financial Mathematics in the country and succeeded in attracting a leading academic from Boston University. Students will thus have the benefit of receiving tuition at the highest level.
The aims of the programme are:
To open up new career opportunities to graduates of traditional mathematics courses.
To give specialists in other numerate disciplines (e.g. engineers, scientists or economists) the opportunity to deepen their understanding of mathematics and to master powerful modern mathematical techniques.
To achieve these aims it is intended:
To introduce relevant problems and to explain the context in which they arise.
To formulate these problems in mathematical terms.
To instruct students in modern mathematical methods powerful enough to deal with these problems.
To develop the student's ability to solve problems through a series of steps in which the problems are reformulated and the methods are adapted and refined.
On completion of the progrmame, students will be competent:
To recognise, through discussion with the practicioner in that field, the essential features of a given industrial process or economic situation.
To assign variables and to formulate relationships between them in the form of mathematical equations.
To solve these equations by appropriate analytical, numerical or approximate methods.
To interpret the mathematical solution in the idealised situation based on the essential features recognised above.
To validate the model in the real situation.
To make necessary adjustments to the model in the event that it does not validate.
To communicate the implications of the model to the practitioner in the field, and advise on its implementation.
This programme is the only one of its type in Ireland and one of the longest established in the field in Europe (1996).