University of Pittsburgh
September 23, 2008

University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Unveils State-of-the-Art Financial Analysis Lab

The $2.3 million facility will give students access to real-time stock market data and to professors who are experienced in global financial markets
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PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has added a key tool to its experience-based learning curriculum: a new state-of-the-art financial laboratory. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the financial analysis lab, hosted by Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher and John T. Delaney, dean of the Katz School and the College of Business Administration (CBA), will be held at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 3 on the second floor of Mervis Hall, Roberto Clemente Drive, Oakland. An interactive demonstration of the room's capabilities will follow the ceremony.

"This new resource will give our students a real-world laboratory where they can use advanced data to study and understand worldwide financial markets," says Maher. "We believe this lab will help further their academic careers and give them a competitive advantage in the job market."

The $2.3 million, 3,000-square-foot lab, which features a financial trading simulator, stock tickers, tote display boards, 58 computer stations, live news feeds, and classroom space, provides students with real-time stock market data and access to faculty who are seasoned in global financial markets. Courses, geared toward both CBA upperclassmen and Katz graduate students, will be tailored to give students a serious glimpse into the world of financial markets. Students will put to use lab software, developing analytical solutions to issues that arise in various areas of finance.

"The lab further increases the opportunities for students to gain professional experience in the classroom," says Delaney. "As a tool for students and faculty, the lab will provide an extensive and unique part of the learning experience."

While finding trading rooms at business schools is not uncommon, most schools are not using the technology to its full potential, says Kuldeep Shastri, Roger S. Ahlbrandt Sr. Endowed Chair in Finance and professor of business administration at Katz.

"It's not about which schools have trading rooms-it's about which schools are using them properly as learning tools," says Shastri.

An up-to-the-minute Reuters news feed will allow students to become more responsive to breaking news. The lab's tools will enable students to develop and test their own market strategies with accurate and real-time data and will help facilitate more realistic classroom discussions.

"We know that as major news stories come out about the economy, markets react to them," says Shastri. "The lab allows us to show students a breaking news announcement and its effect on the market in real time."

The lab will be used in courses customized to give students a significant glimpse into the world of financial markets. "The lab will allow students to develop the competencies they'll need for careers in finance," says Shawn Thomas, a professor of business administration and the Katz School's finance faculty interest group coordinator. "It will allow them to hit the ground running. They'll be familiar with the analytical tools and software commonly used in Wall Street trading rooms and corporate finance institutions at the highest levels."