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New course in algorithmic trading at Saïd

Oxford’s Saïd Business School is introducing a new online course in Algorithmic Trading this July, which, in its blending of traditional behavioural economics and technology, claims to be “the first of its kind worldwide.”

The technique works through using algorithms to replicate patterns in behaviour, and using the resulting estimates to make investment choices, removing human bias and emotion altogether.

Although algorithmic trading has been used for some time, its dominance in financial sectors is growing, and is estimated by the School to account for 20% of hedge funds.

The course is aimed at finance professionals looking to evaluate opportunities and invest in firms that use algorithmic trading.

As well as the convenor, Professor Nir Vulkan, programme participants will also hear from leading academics in the subject and industry professionals, such as Martin Leuck, Director of Research at Aspect Capital, and Susi Gorbey, director of quantitative strategies at Tudor Capital Europe.

Some types of algorithmic trading, such as high-frequency trading, are considered to amplify systemic risk in financial markets. Recently, a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report warned that “firms need to do more work to identify and reduce potential conduct risks created by their algorithmic trading strategies.”

Speaking to Cherwell, Vulkan said: “Our programme explains the difference between various categories of funds, both high- and low frequency trading, leaving participants with an understanding of what might crash markets and what is potentially dangerous, and therefore what to avoid.”

Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School, Peter Tufano, said: “Research suggests that some professional careers might be challenged as technology rapidly transforms markets, institutions, and business models…[our course] will help entrepreneurs and executives future-proof their careers as they navigate the changing landscape.”

Oxford Entrepreneurs have also taken similar steps to incorporate technology in the face of increasing reliance on machine-learning in business and finance.

Ilona Budapesti of Oxford Entrepreneurs, told Cherwell: “Digital literacy and digital numeracy are non-optional skills for the current generation of knowledge workers.

“This is why Oxford Entrepreneurs incubated the 1 Million Women To Tech program this year that runs a yearly #SummerofCode to improve digital literacy, and #WinterOfData to improve digital numeracy of women of all ages and abilities.”

Although Algorithmic Trading is only currently being offered as 6-week online course, Vulkan suggested that it may be extended to the MBA programme if there is enough demand.

He added: “I personally would love to extend this offering to all our students, including undergraduates.”

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