CCFEA for Prospective Students

What is Computational Finance?

Computational finance refers to researches that apply advanced computer science techniques to finance. For example, one may attempt to model the market and simulate what might happen under different conditions. One may also use machine learning to develop trading strategies.

Why Computational Finance?

Financial knowledge tell us what kinds of development is valuable; it tells us "what should be done". Technology opens doors to new business opportunities; it tells us "what could be done". Having insight in both enables synergy: it allows one to do things that one could not have done with financial or technological knowledge alone.

What is CCFEA?

CCFEA is an interdisciplinary centre. It is linked to the Essex Business School, Economics, Computer Science and Mathematics Departments. It aims to conduct frontier research and teach post graduate students. Established in 2003, it was the first to introduce Master degrees in Computational Finance in UK.


CCFEA is one of the few research centres in the world that has expertise in both advanced computing and finance, and integrate them in both research and teaching. Close links to industry help them to set their research agenda and access valuable data. Students are not only taught frontier research, they are also taught practical knowledge that enables them to fit into companies quickly.


CCFEA Alumni are working in a wide range of financial institutes in the world; this includes major banks, central banks and hedge fund companies. Graduates have knowledge in both computing and finance, which allows them to compete favourably against graduates who only have knowledge in either discipline.

Expertise in CCFEA

Professor Edward Tsang has international reputation in its computational intelligence research; his book Foundations of Constraint Satisfaction is the most cited work in the field. He founded IEEE's Technical Committee for Computational Finance and Economics in 2004.

Visiting Professor Richard Olsen is the founder of Olsen Ltd, a top research and asset management company, and a co-founder of OANDA, the market leader in online trading of foreign exchanges. He is also a co-author of the book An introduction to High Frequency Finance, the top reference in the field.

Visiting Professor David Norman is the owner of Trader Training Company and author of many books including Trader DNA and Contracts for Difference. He is an experienced trader. He pioneered an approach called “Trader Psychometrics”, which turns trading into a science.

Other experts include Professor Sheri Markose (computational economics), Dr Nick Constantinou (former HSBC Global Head of Market Risk Management), Dr Wing Lon Ng (high-frequency finance), Dr John O'Hara (financial mathematics), Dr Steve Phelps (Agent based modelling and algorithmic trading), Dr Maria Fasli (agent based modelling), Professor Qingfu Zhang (international expert in optimization) and Professor Hani Hagras (international expert in fuzzy logic).

Page maintained by Edward Tsang (Director); updated 2011.11.18