Financial Engineering

College of Engineering: Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about your interest in engineering or an engineering idea you have. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this interest or idea.

“An institution where any person can find instruction in any study” This is the vision that Ezra Cornell founded the university on. This quote has inspired me to explore different fields of study. Growing up in a family of engineers, I have always longed to be an engineer myself. Though I was never sure which major I would choose, I had always imagined myself in conventional engineering, such as electrical or mechanical. But through my classes and activities in the last few years, I have gained a different perspective. While I still wanted to major in engineering, I couldn’t imagine myself building a robot or piecing together a circuit. It was not until I read the Cornell catalog that I discovered a major that I am truly enthusiastic about: Operational Research and Industrial Engineering. Cornell has one of the best ORIE programs in the countury. Cornell Engineering would enable me to explore my new interest in this field.For a while, I have been trading foreign currency in simulation accounts. Currency trading has sparked my interest in financial engineering. Every time I look for a pattern in a candlestick chart or calculate the pivot points for a currency pair, I am reminded of how everything in this world revolves around numbers. A few friends and I often get together each week to discuss the interesting developments of trend lines, moving averages, and Fibonacci retracements. We are in awe of the marvels of mathematics and astounded that those graphs and indicators derived from simple arithmetic can predict the market. Yet we can only wonder what more advanced algorithms and computing could accomplish. Currency investment has been insightful, but something seems to be missing. It is the initiative to create an idea that is uniquely my own. I look forward to someday developing my own analytical method through studying ORIE.Another one of my intellectual curiosities is game theory. When I first heard of the prisoner’s dilemma in my history class, I was enthralled at the fact that math can be applied to situations as diverse as this. I did some reading on my own and discovered that game theory can be used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from strategizing the location of a new plant to the programming of artificial intelligence. This year I co-founded the Game Theory Club at our school. Though we have learned many basic concepts about game theory and its use in the real world, I know we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. I would like to explore this subject further in my undergraduate studies. Cornell offers an unparalleled interdisciplinary experience that I desire to exploit. Your strong liberal arts classes, dedication to research, Entrepreneurship in Engineering Program, and study abroad opportunities all interest me greatly. I find your university truly suits my needs. I know that the versatility of Cornell’s ORIE program would prepare me well for both the engineering and the business world.

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