From the Director


Morton LaneOctober 19th, 2020


Today is the mid-point of our first fully COVID-affected MSFE semester. It is time to take a breath and take stock. Many things have changed, perhaps for the better, certainly for the future.

The University has endeavored to provide both students and faculty the option of in-person or on-line instruction. Inevitably, with COVID still with us, most instruction is on-line. And that is the way it will continue in spring of 2021 and perhaps beyond.

One surprise about MSFE enrollment (or at least one consequence of travel bans) is that a large fraction of the class is attending the program remotely, staying in China until they can join us in Champaign. That China-remote instruction, in part courtesy of the Grainger College of Engineering’s joint activity with Zhejiang University, has allowed many of our remote students to attend our program from a China academic base.

That raises the exciting prospect that our successful remote delivery method, fashioned because of COVID, may become a permanent feature of our program. Combining that with other curriculum changes underscores the dynamism of MSFE.

A new curriculum is in place and the class of 2021 will be able to select courses more compatible with their own interests. Among their choices are the ability to choose a set of course electives for a transcriptable Concentration in,

Data Analytics in Finance”, or

Advanced Analytics in Industrial and Systems Engineering”.

These are part of the initiative that the program has taken to refresh and up-date the MSFE. Financial Engineers with Data Analytic skills are in high demand.

We also are planning to introduce a third Concentration next year titled

Low Latency Programming and Algorithmics”.

The MSFE at Illinois is a superior and dynamic program that prepares Graduates to hit the road running in their post-graduation new jobs. They will have skills and, because of the emphasis on practical Financial Engineering, have attitudes that enables them to perform at high levels immediately on entering the work force.

We encourage you to explore the program and join us physically in Champaign or virtually, from wherever you are in 2021.


Morton N. Lane, Ph.D.
MS Financial Engineering, Director
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign