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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 21, 2014

Canadian Excellence

Rationale


For the Double Degree Program: Financial Math + BBA

The Honours BBA and Honours Financial Mathematics BA program takes great advantage of the mutual support Financial Mathematics and Business can lend each other. In the Business courses, students learn about the many different internal and external business structures and relations, especially in management. In the mathematics courses, students gain the needed quantitative expertise in analyzing risk in business and industry. The overall effect is to give successful graduates a solid understanding of business practices, and the knowledge needed to understand the complex modern financial instruments used to manage risk and generate resources.

The Honours BA Financial Mathematics required courses and the mathematics courses required in this Double Degree are not identical. For example, MA170 (Introduction to Mathematics for Finance) is required in the Double Degree program, but (currently) is not required in the regular Financial Mathematics programs. MA170 introduces some of the common methods in mathematical finance (and is more applied than other first year mathematics courses required in the program), and students in Business and Economics, amongst others, find the material useful in everyday transactions, as well as in more senior courses. MA323 (Introduction to Groups and Rings) is required in the regular Financial Mathematics programs, but is replaced by MA490 (Stochastic Processes), material that is more in keeping with the view that many of the graduates of this double degree program will work in an area where stochastic methods play a significant role (stochastic means, basically, that a process is subject to random changes, and such processes are analyzed using probability). MA323 is recommended as an elective for those students who are considering graduate studies in mathematics, financial mathematics or other more theoretical programs.

It should be noted that some students have graduated with this combination of degrees, under the rules for Simultaneous Degrees, Different Designations in the Calendar. Formalizing this pairing of programs provides those students with strong quantitative skills and an interest in business an option that takes advantage of both interests.

Students get both theory and applications in a coherent study of business practices, and the methods employed in the quantitative analysis of risk. Risk evaluation and management is one of the most important considerations in business, industry and government. Students will have the knowledge and skills needed to be competitive with the best, and will have the ability to readily adapt to changing environments. The financial mathematics, stochastic calculus and probability theory, coupled with a range of experience with computational techniques provide the in-depth quantitative skills that are of growing importance in the ever-more complex world of business and industry.

Note that students may enter the Double Degree program at any year level, as long as the progression requirements are met, and they are admitted into the BBA by SBE (if not already registered) or into Financial Mathematics (if not already registered).