Scholarship Winners

Illinois MSFE Academic Excellence Scholarship

All students enrolled in the MS Financial Engineering Program are eligible for the Illinois MSFE Academic Excellence Scholarship.  This scholarship honors students who have achieved a 4.0 GPA after completing one year of study.  The winner(s) will receive a monetary scholarship which is applied to their tuition during their final semester of study.

We are proud to honor the following students from the Class of 2022 who are receiving this scholarship.

Yuhao WangYuhao Wang

Undergraduate Degree(s): Bachelor of Economics in Financial Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering in Structural Engineering

Undergrad Institution:  Sichuan University, China

Why did you choose Illinois?

UIUC Has a good reputation for the outstanding Engineering and Business School rankings.  The electives are diversified and the campus is beautiful.  In addition, the university provides many out-of-classroom learning resources.  The professors are well-learned and will respond to your questions almost immediately.

What was your favorite MSFE course and why?

IE 523 Financial Computing.  This course not only improved my programming skills but, also helped me learn and review some important pricing methods.  The programming assignments are interesting and are of practical use.  This course is a great combination of programming, math and finance.

What is your career goal after leaving our program?

I would like to work as a quantitative risk analyst.  I like dealing with data and helping with the technical side of work.

Poramej Torntham
Undergraduate Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering in Information & Communication Engineering
Undergrad Institution:
Chulalongkorn University 
Why did you choose Illinois?
I chose Illinois because of the well-integrated practical learning curriculum of the MSFE Program which allows students to choose their concentration based on their interest.  I'm interested in the Automated Trading Practices (ATP) concentration since courses like High Frequency Trading are only available in this program and taught by an industry expert.  The Practicum allows students to work in groups on a project with the US company, gaining valuable work experience while being supervised by professors and sponsors.  I believe the program provides me with a combination of quantitative skills, financial knowledge, and computer programming comprehension, all of which are necessary for my future career goals.
What was your favorite MSFE course and why?
Algorithmic Trading Systems Design and Testing is my favorite course because it allows students to develop trading strategies from scratch, gather real-world data, build reasonable hypotheses, perform back testing, and evaluate each component of the strategies, as well as assess the over-fitting probability.  To be honest, the course was difficult for me.  The professor, however, not only had extensive experience in this area, but, he also dedicated a lot of time helping students in staying on track and providing guidance to overcome problems throughout the  project.  
What is your career goal after leaving our program?
After graduation, my short-term goal is to land a job in the quantitative fields in the United States where I can apply my technical skills and knowledge from the MSFE program to research, develop, and implement trading and allocation strategies in global assets.  In addition, I would like to strengthen my connections through getting involved in the quantitative industry, helping others in resolving financial challenges and achieving their investment objectives.


Zhengshun (James) You
Undergraduate Degree(s):   Bachelor of Science in Statistics
Undergraduate Institution:  Tongji University

Why did you choose Illinois?

I chose UIUC because I know I can find great resources here that will benefit me in my future career. UIUC has one of the best Engineering School in the world, its Business School is also rank among the tops, and in MSFE, I could enjoy the resources in both schools. I could learn about both engineering and finance from the most experienced Professors and talk to those talented and ambitious students who share the same interest with me. And I could also benefit from the practicum project, in which I could have the chance to gain experience by getting hands on real-world project and build up meaningful relationship with industry partner. Look back from now, I’m glad that I made the right decision.

What was your favorite MSFE course and why?

Practicum is my favorite. I really learned and grew a lot from the project. Not just by applying what I’ve learned in solving real problems, but also through weekly communicating with our Sponsors and Professors to brain storming and present our findings. It’s not just a course, but a meaningful working experience. Besides practicum, my favorite course is Statistical Methods in Finance by Professor Feng. I love Statistics, and it’s always refreshing and enjoyable when I learn or review about the subject. And I believe it’s really very important for working in the field of quantitative finance.

What’s your career goal after leaving our program?

I plan to stay in the U.S. and working in quantitative finance as an Analyst or Researcher. Applying statistical models to solve real-world problems has always been intriguing to me. The U.S. market is mature and the firms are using a lot of quantitative techniques and algorithms for analysis as well as trading, so I believe there are many good opportunities for me. Hopefully I could become an active member in this industry and grow with it.

Binglian (Lucy) Luo

Undergraduate Degree:  Bachelor’s in Financial Engineering

Undergraduate Institution:  East China Normal University

Why did you choose Illinois?

The Master of Science in Financial Engineering at Illinois is an outstanding STEM program with strong faculties and a well-designed curriculum. It is particularly appealing to me because of the “Practicum” course, which is a project on real-world topics under the guidance of professionals from the financial industry. The strong desire to learn more advanced and professional analytical skills helped me make my decision to join MSFE @ UIUC.

My experiences at MSFE convinced me that I have made a great decision in joining UIUC. In the second semester, I did my practicum project under the guidance of JP Morgan Chase on the topic "Constructing Arbitrage-Free Implied Volatility Surface with Sinkhorn Algorithm". During the meetings with the industrial sponsors, we gained much deeper understanding about how the real market runs and how to analyze problems in a practical way. This experience plays a vital role in my professional development.

What was your favorite MSFE course and why?

My favorite MSFE course was IE 523 Financial Computing instructed by Professor Ramavarapu S Sreenivas. This course is under the Grainger College of Engineering. It covered many interesting and practical topics in financial engineering, including exotic option pricing and Monte Carlo simulation. More importantly, we learned how to solve financial problems from an engineering perspective, such as using Linear Programming to build bond immunization strategies and adopting optimization techniques like memorization to speed up computation.

What is your career goal after leaving our program?

My career goal upon completion of the MSFE program is to work as a quantitative analyst. Thanks to the MSFE program, I found a quantitative summer internship at Reinsurance Group of America. During the internship, I applied a lot of practical knowledge I have learned in my master's program, such as calibrating interest rate models and implementing quantitative analysis with programming. I would like to further my professional skills in this area, and I believe that the well-designed curriculum and the excellent career services from MSFE at UIUC can help me find my dream job successfully.