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Wall Street comes to Lehigh University

Lehigh students will soon be able to experience the excitement of a Wall Street trading floor without having to leave campus.

IBM has partnered with the university to provide computers and associated hardware to create a lively Financial Services Laboratory within Rauch Business Center. The new lab within the College of Business and Economics will have mounted tickers and computer software for simulated trading, allowing students to see live coverage of CNBC and CNNfn as well as Bloomberg and other financial networks.

"The establishment of a Financial Services Laboratory will make Lehigh a preeminent player in higher education. It will position the university and the College of Business and Economics to gain a differential advantage," says Richard M. Durand, Herbert E. Ehlers Dean of the College of Business and Economics.

As well as enjoying real-world, real-time insights into the global economy and financial markets, faculty and students also will be able to use the lab for advanced research and developing and testing dynamic programming models of portfolio optimization.

“I’m excited about this project. The lab will be a key differentiator for Lehigh, helping to increase its reputation, visibility and rankings, as well as its ability to attract quality students and faculty to the university,” says John Callies, Vice President, Marketing, e-business on demand for IBM Corporation. ”The next step is to communicate this lab to our contacts in the financial services industry—our IBM colleagues and our customers—to expand this center and its reach.”

The goals of the lab are to maximize the classroom experience, enhance employment opportunities for CBE graduates, provide tools for quality faculty research, and attract quality students and faculty. The lab should provide an exciting look into the real world.

“The partnership will bring financial markets to Lehigh, creating a practical and enjoyable learning environment,” says Marc L. Paley ’83, managing director/ Head of U.S. Equities for Lehman Brothers Inc.

The initiative is part of Lehigh’s commitment to developing cutting-edge programs that cross academic boundaries and colleges, and that support the needs of a wide range of students.

All CBE students will use it in basic and advanced business courses. Computer science students will study a system of virtual Linux systems and synchronized databases.

Electrical and computer engineering students and faculty will be involved with the infrastructure of the advanced environment. Financial engineers/mathematicians will use the resources to develop models of markets and how to optimize portfolios.

--Joy Fasanya

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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