Capstone Projects: The Hallmark of a Cornell Financial Engineering Education

By: Roselle Bajet

A unique characteristic of the Cornell Master in Financial Engineering program is the students' capstone project in their final semester. This five-credit course requires teamwork with faculty and company sponsors, replicating the environment that our students will find in their own jobs after graduation. 

CFEM Senior Research Associate Sasha Stoikov is a faculty advisor who has spent over a decade in guiding students throughout the process of conducting research and gathering data. He notes that CFEM selects a diverse set of companies looking for innovative solutions to financial data science problems. Some projects proposed by Fintech companies in 2021 were related to cryptocurrencies and ESG impact investing. Banks and brokers in our lineup of companies have continued their interest in Machine Learning applications to include factor timing, portfolio allocation, and market making. For example, a sponsor in a major Wall Street bank pitched his question to the students as the following: "Reinforcement Learning has been useful in the development of AI for games. How applicable is this technology to algorithmic trading?"

Last December, Cornell MFE students presented their work in front of the entire class. This was a showcase opportunity for CFEM to apply their financial data science tools in devising solutions and act as professionals. Due to the ongoing Omicron wave, it was a hybrid presentation with many sponsors and their colleagues videoconferencing into the classroom. To find out more about last year's projects, you can watch this YouTube video.

As our students graduate with this invaluable experience, we continue to search for new collaborators in tackling the latest issues at the forefront of industry and academia!

FE Final Project Presentations

Pictured: CFEM students discuss their project outcomes with Prof. Sasha Stoikov and sponsors in the follow-up to their presentation.



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