Alumni Spotlight: Jaiganesh Prabhakaran

Alum Jaiganesh Prabhakaran was a student in the Computational Finance and Risk Management Master of Science campus cohort of 2013. After graduation he spent time working in Colorado, before returning to Seattle. He recently took the time to reflect on his experience in the CFRM program. Hometown: Mumbai, India Undergraduate …

Alumni Spotlight: Cheryl Fang

Alum Cheryl Fang was a student in the Computational Finance and Risk Management Master of Science campus cohort of 2012, and has since established herself in New York City. She recently took the time to reflect on her experience in the CFRM program.

CFRM alum Cheryl Fang.

Hometown: Yichang, China
Undergraduate University: Huazhong University of Science & Technology
CFRM Cohort: 2012
CFRM Graduation: 2014
Current Location: New York, NY
Company: Credit Suisse
Title: Vice President

Q: How did your time in the CFRM program help you with your career path?
CF: Courses taught by academic and industry professors gave me a theoretical foundation and practical insight. CFRM’s extracurricular activities, including CFA/FRM/CAIA events, the R in Finance conference and company tours, created numerous networking opportunities. The program also had great career advising resources.

Q: What was your most memorable event or activity during your time in the program?
CF: It was the R in Finance conference, where I met dozens of industry practitioners and had interviews with several companies in just 1-2 days.

Q: What was your favorite CFRM course? Why?
Portfolio Optimization [CFRM 503] taught by Professor Doug Martin. I learned both advanced mathematical models and systematic implementation.

Q: What are your favorite memories of CFRM/UW Seattle/Seattle?
My favorite memories were the days and nights when I studied and worked hard for my dream. Those days let me know how much potential I could have.

Q: What is something you wish you had known when starting graduate school?
I wish I knew networking is secondary to studying. No matter how many interviews people get via networking, they won’t get a good job if they don’t have a deep understanding of the knowledge they learned.

Q: What is the best part of your current job/position?
The best part is its quantitative nature. It involves both mathematical modeling and programming (Python, C++, R) on a daily basis.

Q: What advice would you give incoming CFRM students?
Even though CFRM provides lots of resources, what is more important is your personal effort. My experiences to secure a good job were:
1. Learn all courses well;
2. Be proactive (but not aggressive) in networking;
3. Be well prepared and try to catch every interview opportunity.

All spring quarter classes to be held remotely

As announced by University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce on Thursday, March 19, 2020, all spring quarter classes will be held via remote instruction instead of meeting in person. Spring quarter will begin as scheduled on March 30, with remote instruction that will continue through the end of the …

Recent News: November/December

Awards Dinner, Program Ranking, Industry Activities AWARDS & GRADUATION CELEBRATION: Campus students from the autumn 2018 cohort were recognized at a dinner on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Celebrating their accomplishments and forthcoming graduation were program staff, faculty, and first year students. The third annual event, hosted by Director Tim Leung, …

Alumni Spotlight: Dorian Kandi

Dorian Kandi on the steps of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta building.

Computational Finance and Risk Management alum Dorian Kandi has found success at Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. A member of the Computational Finance and Risk Management MS campus cohort of 2015, he took some time to reflect on his time during and after the MS-CFRM program.

Hometown: Columbus, OH
Undergraduate University: Morehouse College
CFRM Cohort: Autumn 2015
CFRM Graduation: Winter 2017
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Company: Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
Title: Quantitative Analyst


Q: How did your time in the CFRM program help you with your career path?
DK: CFRM helped me narrow down what I wanted to do as a career. In undergrad, quant finance seemed very abstract, as there are a lot of different paths to pursue.  CFRM exposed me to a vast number of fields: portfolio optimization, risk management, high frequency trading, options pricing, etc.

The networking and interview prep!!!!! I used to struggle with behavioral interviews, then CFRM brought in an interview coach in the fall and that changed everything. The CFA Society dinners were also a plus.

Q: What was your most memorable event or activity during your time in the program?
DK: Getting an A in Dr. Lorig’s options class.  I had a lot of long nights studying for that class.  It reassured me that I belonged in the program.

Q: What advice would you give incoming CFRM students?
Find the best study schedule that works for you!  If you’re studying at night, don’t go to Ode, it’s very much like trying to study at Woody (the AUC library is dubbed “Club Woody”) during midterms. Lewis Hall is actually the best place to study in my opinion.

For Spelman/Morehouse students specifically, join the Black Student Union (BSU) and NSBE.  UW is a large campus, but it’s not hard to go a day without seeing someone who looks like you.  And when you’re all the way in Seattle, that may make you feel more isolated. BSU definitely created a familial environment that gave me a part of what I had in the AUC.

Q: What was your favorite CFRM course? Why?
The course numbers have changed, but my favorite course is undoubtedly Options & Derivatives [CFRM 504] with Dr. Lorig.  He teaches it like a math class rather than a strictly finance one; which was great for someone with a pure math background.  Despite it being one of the harder classes in the program, it was easily the one I was most prepared for coming from Morehouse.

Q: What are your favorite memories of CFRM/UW Seattle/Seattle?
Rooftop happy hours (seriously, looking at the water is just different); going to Karaoke on the Ave on Thursdays with the AMATH students. Because of my internship with Russell, I didn’t get to partake in a lot of the activities you guys had during the day.

Q: What is the best part of your current job?
The best part of my job is leveraging the math skills I’ve acquired to hedge interest rate and prepayment risk on an MBS portfolio that drives the bank’s income.

Q: What is something you wish you had known when starting your first job?
CFRM prepared me well for work. But working in Seattle is way different than working on the east coast. That’s the only thing.

Q: What made you interested in your current field?
DK: I could go on forever about how Dr. Lorig’s classes got me where I am, but that’s a happy hour conversation.

Professor Hanson Gives Talk at CppCon 2019

Daniel Hanson, CFRM Lecturer, presented the talk “Leveraging Modern C++ in Quantitative Finance” at the CppCon 2019 C++ conference in Denver last month. Held September 13-18, 2019, the CppCon conference is regarded as “the annual, week-long face-to-face gathering for the entire C++ community.”  It attracts users from around the world …

Welcome to the 2019 MS Class

Today marks the first day of school for the new huskies joining the Computational Finance and Risk Management program for the 2019-20 academic year. We are excited to welcome our largest campus class ever, at 42 students, along with 12 online students.

The 2019 cohort with the bronze husky outside of the Husky Union Building (HUB).

The 2019 campus cohort includes students from six countries, and over half (60%) are women. A majority of students completed undergraduate degrees in applied mathematics or financial mathematics. Other degrees earned include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, and economics.

In addition to new students, we are welcoming new instructor Ore Adekoya, who is joining the program after earning hear bachelor’s and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on PDE models for waves, with a background and research interest in financial math. Ore will be teaching CFRM undergraduate courses this academic year.

We welcome our new students and instructors, and look forward to a successful school year!

Professor Leung Represents CFRM at Local CFA Event

On Thursday May 30, 2019, CFRM Program Director, Professor Tim Leung, spoke for the CFA Investment Trustee Education Workshop at the Rainier Club in downtown Seattle. Organized by the CFA Institute, this workshop is designed to help trustees understand key terminology and characteristics of investment instruments and performance evaluation, what …

CFRM Students Enjoy Spring Social Events


On Thursday, April 18, CFRM students, faculty and staff participated in the first official “CFRM Game Night.” Over pizza, groups played UNO, Settlers of Catan, poker, and Scattergories. Professor Ryan Donnelly was victorious in both rounds of Settlers of Catan, while graduate student Steven Song won a marathon game of UNO that lasted nearly two hours.

“I had a great time even though I massively lost,” said Karen Beaudry, Career Services Manager. “I’m looking forward to our next CFRM Game Night to dethrone Professor Donnelly.”


On Thursday, May 16, CFRM students, faculty and staff watched as the Seattle Mariners took on the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park. Our second annual trip to the ballpark was a success, even though the Mariners lost 11-6. Professor Tim Leung, who ate lime and chili-dusted fried grasshoppers last year, did not partake in the protein-packed snack this time, instead opting for local favorite Fat’s Chicken.

For the students unfamiliar with baseball, there were classmates on-hand to explain the rules of the game. The teams had a combined 24 total hits, which resulted in a thrilling evening, even though the home team ended the night with a loss.

CFRM Connects with Seattle’s Fintech Community

The University of Washington student newspaper, The Daily, recently wrote about the Computational Finance and Risk Management program and our connections in the growing fintech industry. From the article, written by UW student Xuan You Lim: At the UW, the Computational Finance & Risk Management (CFRM) program director, professor Tim Leung, has …