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Introduction to Trading Syllabus

Course Coordinator:

Traders@MIT Executive Board (traders@mit.edu)

Youyang Gu (yygu@mit.edu)
Mondays 7-9PM. Room 5-134
Fridays 3-4:30PM. Room 3-333

A.Course Description
This is an introductory course designed for students who want to learn about trading. While
providing a sound theoretical foundation, the class will also place emphasis on practical
applications of theory. Our class will help prepare students for future full-time jobs and
internships in the industry. At the end of the term, students will be able to understand the
basics of trading and exchanges, discuss markets fluently, generate models using Excel, and,
most importantly, be able to create their own trading strategies.

Lec Date



Introduction to Trading and Exchanges




Fixed Income


Forwards & Futures



Week of 3/10

Interview 1 (Covers Lec 1-4)




Foreign Exchange/Swaps


Building a Trading Strategy I


Algorithmic Trading


Final Project Proposal Due

Week of 4/28

Interview 2 (Covers Lec 5-9)



Current Topic/Review



Building a Trading Strategy II


Final Project Writeup Due


Trading Strategy Presentation




C. Classes and Labs

Classes will be held on Monday evenings. They will cover the basics of many financial
products and how they are traded in the industry. Friday labs will involve simulated electronic
trading (using the Rotman Interactive Client) and mock trading to give students a more
hands-on experience and more opportunities to apply what they have learned in class.

D. Interviews
Over the course of the semester, you will have two individual interviews with the
instructors. This is an opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned over the course of
the semester. We believe this is a much better way to assess how much you have learned than
exams. We will not ask you to regurgitate formulas and definitions. Instead, we try to ask
questions that allow you to apply what you have learned to new situations. This is also a great
way to practice for real trading interviews.

E. Final Project
We will cover many of the tools and methods that are commonly used to develop a
trading strategy. For the final project, students will be asked to apply everything they have
learned over the course of the seminar to create and present on their own trading strategy.
Most students have enjoyed their projects in the past, and we hope this will be a rewarding
experience for everyone.

G.Grading and Attendance

This is a 6-unit P/D/F class. Grades will be calculated as follows:
Class and Lab Participation (30%), two interviews (40% total), final trading
strategy/presentation (30%)
Attendance is mandatory! We structure our classes to be interactive, and so it is for your
own benefit that you attend lectures and labs. You can only miss 2 lectures and 2 labs. If you
miss more than that, you will need to have an official excuse.



H.About the Instructors

Youyang Gu, yygu@mit,edu, Course 6 and 18, Class of 2015
Youyang has been exploring the high-frequency trading industry since he was a
freshman. He has worked with electronic trading groups at various firms including
J.P. Morgan, Tower Research Capital, and Credit Suisse. He is currently the
Co-President of Traders@MIT, and enjoys teaching others what he knows about
the trading industry.
Alex Wang, alexwang@mit.edu, Course 6 and 18, Class of 2014
Alex is primarily interested in high-frequency trading. He has experience working
at various trading firms including Wolverine Trading, Morgan Stanley, and
Chopper Trading. Along with Youyang, Alex is the Co-President of
Traders@MIT, and is also involved in the Sloan Trading Room Taskforce.
Vlad Kontsevoi, vok@mit.edu, Course 6 and 18, Class of 2014
Vlad is interested in high-frequency and short- to medium-term quantitative
trading. He has worked in trading and quantitative research at a number of firms,
including Jane Street, Tower, Five Rings, and D.E. Shaw. After graduation, he will
be joining Hudson River Trading.
Oliver Huang, ohuang@mit.edu, Course 14 and 18, Class of 2014
Oliver is a senior at MIT who likes trading. He is on the executive board of
Traders@MIT and does a lot of math in his free time. After graduation, he will be
joining Morgan Stanley.