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Georgia Institute of Technology
MGT 4067: Financial Markets Trading and Structure
Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller School of Business undergraduate finance program equips students to understand current market dynamics, placing special emphasis on the way technology and globalization influence today’s markets.
Professor Jonathan Clarke’s Financial Markets Trading and Structure class is an elective for students in the program. It focuses on different market structures as well as the concepts of liquidity and trading.
Professor Clarke wanted to enhance his lectures by dynamically demonstrating the theories his students were learning in the classroom. He felt strongly that if his students could access live markets and simulate trading, they would be able to apply what they were learning in class to better understand how the markets work and begin to master the mechanics of trading.
The Engagement with TT
The engagement began when Trading Technologies reached out to Professor Clarke with an offer to demonstrate the TT® platform. Among the alumni of Georgia Tech is Trading Technologies’ CEO, Rick Lane. Rick believed the university would benefit greatly if it had access to the company’s software.
After a one-on-one in-person tutorial, Professor Clarke’s interest was piqued. He invited Trading Technologies to show the platform to some of his students in the Ferris-Goldsmith Trading Floor, a high-end technology lab used by both undergraduate and MBA students. Approximately 40 attended the session, during which the software was available for them to use. When Professor Clarke saw how his students responded, he knew the software would add value to his class.
The web-based TT platform is inherently easy to use and requires no installation. It is accessible from virtually any internet-connected device including desktop computer, laptop and Android or iOS phone.
To gain access to the platform, students simply created their usernames and passwords by responding to a link in an email invitation from Trading Technologies. They could then immediately log in to the platform to view market data and explore the platform’s features.
Knowing that TT is accessible from anywhere, including the classroom, the Ferris-Goldsmith Trading Floor and students’ personal devices, Professor Clarke designed in-class lessons and assignments that incorporated the platform. The TT CampusConnect® program assumed a supporting role, answering students’ questions and giving them access to the the step-by-step tutorials contained in the online TT Help Library.
Professor Clarke’s initial lessons were constructed to give students a chance to simply experience market volatility. He incorporated point-and-click trading exercises, which became more sophisticated as the class progressed.
Eventually, students learned how to design and deploy their own automated trading strategies. They automated their strategies using ADL® (Algo Design Lab), which makes it easy for non-programmers to design and deploy algorithms through its intuitive pre-coded blocks. Users drag, drop and connect the blocks, creating flowcharts of their strategies that convert to well-tested code. In this manner, virtually anyone can automate a strategy without writing a line of code.
For his students, Professor Clarke believes a practical understanding of algorithmic trading is a necessity. He commented, “As part of my course, students must design and deploy a trading algorithm. ADL is really terrific for this purpose. Even students with limited programming experience can use ADL. Given the increasing importance of algorithmic trading, I think that this kind of exercise is extremely important for students entering finance.”
Now with TT, Professor Clarke can easily display market depth, liquidity and volatility in his class to reinforce his lessons. Students can also access the software outside the classroom to further their knowledge. And demand for the class has grown, leading to another session being taught by Professor Jacqueline Garner.
“The platform is ideal for illustrating trading concepts like the limit order book, spreads, depth, order types such as market and limit orders, VWAP and more. While there are several textbooks describing these concepts, it’s extremely important for students to have hands-on experience with them,” said Professor Clarke.
Students also use TT’s charting and analytics tools to apply technical analysis to current market conditions and illustrate various technical trading strategies. Explained Professor Clarke, “This adds a dynamic and timely component to class discussions that can’t be replicated by cases.”