Given the unprecedented pace and impact of technological advancement in financial services, rigorous research on innovation and the future of the industry has become imperative within academic and business realms. In examining the complexity of disruptive forces shaping the industry and formulating potential strategic responses to such challenges, a multidisciplinary approach is the most impactful method to scrutinize the industry’s fundamental construct and instigate transformative innovation.
Advanced Projects & Applied Research in Fintech (“APAR”) at Columbia Business School aims to diligently address this proposition with the right mix of "fin" and "tech." APAR inhabits the intersection of the core disciplines necessary to not only understand and anticipate industry trends and changes, but to also devise inventive strategic solutions alongside their implementation. The intellectual depth of our faculty, their achievements in and dedication to original research, and our institutional tradition of thought-leadership endue APAR at Columbia Business School to be at the leading edge of industry transformation in today’s digital age.
Deploying an interdisciplinary approach to research, mathematical and computational models, data analytics, product ideation, design, prototyping, and field applications, APAR blends theory and practice to identify pioneering opportunities, to interpret risk/reward dynamics, and to execute real-time solutions. It is our belief that such an integrated approach to technological tool implementation in financial services, be it for consumer or enterprise products, will ensure a responsible, systematic and all-encompassing model for research and development through academic and corporate collaboration.
By incorporating deep business, engineering, design, and storytelling expertise, APAR pursues academic research and advanced projects by bringing together various constituents to collaborate and develop:
- Revolutionary, breakthrough solutions that are first in the industry ("0 to 1 Solutions").
- Evolutionary solutions addressing customer or industry needs that, at a minimum, provide an order of magnitude improvement over current models ("1 to 10 Solutions").
We strive to be highly collaborative, promoting and celebrating the multidisciplinary pursuit of knowledge and innovation. Such endeavors can only be accomplished with a group of dedicated faculty, researchers, industry practitioners, and students all contributing their work toward a common goals. APAR is fortunate to be housed at Columbia Business School, which provides it with the talent necessary to build APAR into a top-tier initiative.
Below you will find a list of individuals who are part of APAR in various capacities. If you are a Columbia student and interested in being considered for a Research Fellowship role, please contact [email protected].
- R.A. Farrokhnia, (Founding) Executive Director, Dean's Office; Columbia Schools of Business (Economics) and Engineering (IEOR)
- Charles Calomiris, Academic Director; Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions (Finance)
Academic Advisory Board
In guiding and advising APAR on academic and research activities, the following senior and tenured faculty members of Columbia Business School faculty are part of our Academic Advisory Board (AAB) who graciously devote their time and lend experise to support and advise APAR in achieving its ambitious objectives. Our AAB members are, in alphabetical order:
- Kent Daniel, William von Mueffling Professor of Business (Finance); Senior Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs (Dean's Office)
- R. Glenn Hubbard, Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics (Economics); Dean Emeritus, Columbia Business School, Co-Director, Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy at Columbia University
- Kamel Jedidi, John A. Howard Professor of Business (Marketing)
- Costis Maglaras, David and Lyn Silfen Professor of Business (DRO); Dean, Columbia Business School
- Malia F. Mason, Professor of Business (Management); Vice Dean for Research (Dean's Office)
- Shivaram Rajgopal, Roy Bernard Kester and T.W. Byrnes Professor of Accounting and Auditing (Accounting)
- Pierre Yared, MUTB Professor of International Business (Economics); Co-Director, Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy at Columbia University
- Stephen P. Zeldes, Benjamin Rosen Professor of Finance and Economics (Economics)
- IN MEMORIAM: Katherine W. Phillips, Reuben Mark Professor of Organizational Character (Management)
Industry Advisory Committee
The roster of our Industry Advisory Members for 2020-2021 will be announced soon.
- Adam Chelminski (2017 Technical Lead and Graduate Student Research Assistant)
- Brett Averso (2018 Technical Lead and Graduate Student Research Assistant)
- Suwen Ge (2019-2020 Technial Lead and Graduate Student Research Assistant)
- Ethan Schmidt (Summer 2019 Graduate Research Assistant)
- Jing Qian (Summer 2019 Graduate Research Assistant)
- Alex Zheng (Summer 2019 Special Program Intern)
- Deka Auliya Akbar (Spring 2020 Graduate Research Assistant)
- Chen Chen (Spring/Summer 2020 Research Assistant)
- Milen Ferev (Spring/Summer 2020 Research Assistant)
- Mitali Juneja (Spring/Summer 2020 Research Assistant)
- Sangha Lee (Spring/Summer 2020 Research Assistant)
- Natasha Simadibrata (Fall 2020 Research Assistant & Experimental Project Lead)
APAR's target audience and constituents include:
- academic researchers, teaching faculty, and graduate students
- corporate partners, industry participants, and tech startups
- central bankers, regulators, and policy makers
- journalists, media, and domain authors
Given the wealth of academic resources, courses, and faculty research at Columbia Business School as well as other graduate schools within Columbia University, APAR is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of educating and training the next generation of researchers, students, future business leaders, and industry innovators. Indeed, developing talent full of creativity, audacity, and ambition to change the world for the better is a priority for APAR.
The MBA courses currently offered at Columbia Business School provide a wide selection of introductory- to advanced content on Fintech for which students can register. Our Executive Event and Education Summits also provides a marquee platform for industry executives, board members, professionals, angel investors, and entrepreneurs to stay informed of the latest technological and research advancements as well as learn about new topics and developments in the field.
Industry Focus Areas
APAR’s areas of studies within the financial services realm are subdivided into the following practice groups:
- Insurance - sample project and research projects include IoT, modular- and micro insurance, risk analysis, and smart contracts, to name a few.
- Savings (wealth management, retirement, robo advisors)
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies (application specific tokens, crowdfunding, protocol layer investing, regulatory frameworks)
- Payments (micro, “less cash + cashless,” biometric, remittance)
- Capital Markets (ATS for equities and fixed income, smart algorithms, data analytics)
- Lending (risk assessment metrics, structured products, credit models, etc.)
In addition, studies and projects that cut across various categories will also be pursued; a sample list includes marketing of consumer financial technology products, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and privacy.