The Center for Financial Engineering (CFE) was established on October 1, 2013 under Faculty of Engineering, CUHK. It signifies the formation of a strong Financial Engineering / quantitative finance group in CUHK, and in Hong Kong. Under the leadership of the founding Director, Prof. Xunyu Zhou, the center has achieved some remarkable progress in the past in assembling research teams and in organizing regular seminars, conferences, distinguished lectures, and short courses. Meanwhile, with the continuous encouragement of introducing various innovating technologies to the financial industry, both the academic programmes (in particular the Bachelor and Master of Science Programmes in Financial Technology) and the research powers in Engineering Faculty have gained growing interest from the society. In view of addressing the need, CFE continues supporting both academic and industrial activities as a hub to not only house project ideas but also connect academic researchers to industrial practitioners.
Financial Engineering (FE) and Financial Technology (FinTech) are multidisciplinary fields that engineer problems arising from pain points in the financial industry by applying a variety of skill acquired from from a collection of knowledge in mathematics, statistics economics and financial theory, programming, data mining, AI, and various engineering methodologies. The former is closely related to other fields such as Mathematical Finance, Quantitative Finance, and Econometrics but emphasises on “engineering” financial investment and risk management solutions, whereas the latter focuses on bringing innovative solutions to improve the financial firms’ operations and even revolutionising the whole industry. CFE has been welcoming discussion with practitioners in order to stay on top of the industrial trends.
As a matter of fact, Faculty of Engineering at CUHK, especially the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM), is the pioneer of introducing FE and FinTech into its curriculum in Hong Kong (in 1997 and 2017 respectively). There is a strong research group at SEEM, whose members have been contributing to the FE and FinTech directions by utilizing their diverse domain expertise in operations research, optimization, control theory, stochastic analysis and data mining. There is also broad interest across the Faculty in the relevant areas, such as AI, blockchain, data analytics, network economics, or areas that underpin the core techniques in FE and FinTech research. Beyond Faculty of Engineering, there are several research groups in CUHK that are interested in the quantitative and innovative aspects of finance, in departments including Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, and Finance. All these have provided a strong motivation to establish CFE.