HSE Graduate Wins World Championship in Creating Financial and Mathematical Models
Polina Polunina, a 2012 graduate of HSE’s undergraduate programme in Mathematics, took second place at the Summer Alphathon — a global competition in which students and recent graduates from leading universities create financial and mathematical models. The competition was held with the support of WorldQuant, an investment company.
Taking part in the competition were more than 5,000 people representing 15 countries, including China, Russia, India and the United States.
‘Contestants were supposed to create predictive financial models that could form the basis of algorithms for mid-frequency trading’, says Polunina. ‘For this it was necessary to study contemporary academic articles on fundamental financial analysis, stochastic and quantitative finance, and technical performance, and then convert the information into mathematical models. But not every idea from an article can work. When scientists write articles, they use several premises and assumptions, and build assessments of parameters that are not known to them. The result is a model that works on these premises and assumptions with specific parameter assessments that are set at the beginning by a researcher or his or her predecessors. In practice, different forces are acting simultaneously on the system, i.e., a multifactor model is obtained that is very difficult to assess. Therefore, each model created for the competition is tested twice on real data, including the years of the financial crisis. When the model passes the second test, it is assigned a score (from 0 to 1000)’.
Polunina scored almost a million points, which put her in second place out of all the participants. As a prize, she was granted a contract allowing her to continue studying quantitative finance at WorldQuant as a research consultant, as well as a monetary reward.
In turn, the Faculty of Mathematics nominated Polunina for the HSE Alumni Awards 2015 in the category of Beautiful Debut for strengthening the image of Russian mathematics, economics and financial education (and, in particular, HSE) internationally.
‘HSE Offers the Opportunity to Study Mathematics Alongside Renowned Mathematicians as Part of a Vibrant Research Community’
HSE University’s Faculty of Mathematics is one of the strongest in Russia, consistently ranking high on global university rankings. Its degree programmes attract the best students, not only from Russia, but also from around the world, by offering them a well-rounded mathematical education and a wide range of learning opportunities. In an interview with HSE News Service, a Master’s student and an HSE alum talk about features of the HSE Master’s Programme in Mathematics.
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Mathematicians of the Higher School of Economics have calculated the effectiveness of measures taken to fight the coronavirus epidemic in different countries. They have concluded that the scale of anti-epidemic measures does not necessarily directly affect the disease rate, suggesting that one of the main reasons for this is the willingness of citizens to clearly, honestly and consistently comply with anti-epidemic measures.
Ninety six university teams from all over the world participated in the main mathematics competition of the year. Typically, IMC takes place in Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), but this year it was decided to hold the competition online due to the pandemic.
Marking Mikhail Sholokhov's 115th anniversary (1905-1984), linguists Boris Orekhov of the HSE and Natalya Velikanova of the Moscow State University confirmed his authorship of the epic novel about the Don Cossacks. The researchers were able to attribute the novel using the text distance measure proposed by John Burrows. Termed Burrows' Delta, it provides a simple and reliable method of attributing or confirming the authorship of various texts.
Alexander Efimov, a research fellow at the International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms of HSE University, has been awarded the European Mathematical Society’s prestigious Prize.