Completing my first MOOC: Computational Investing, Part I


The intersection between computing and finance.Posted by Stan Chang Khin Boon on November 20, 2013

I always have an interest in the intersection between finance and computing as I have describe it in brief 2 years ago. But my personal and career advancement since then has continue move forward in the path of computing, not so much in the direction of finance. Nevertheless, it still a topic that intrigues me.

Roughly 3 months ago, I took interest in joining the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) movement. It is something that appeal to me in a big way, having not attained a Bachelor’s Degree due to personal and situational. It had pros and cons; It kept me a keen learner so as to stay relevant but it has, in some ways, made life difficult too.

I browses through Coursera then and chance upon the course Computational Investing, Part I offered by Dr. Tucker Balch of Georgia Tech. I was naturally thrilled and sign up for the signature track immediately. Soon, at 26th of August 2013, I began attending 8 fulfilling weeks of the course.

The only thing I didn’t had much experience of before I started the course was python, having tried picking up on my own computational investing while playing with MetaTrader, a programmable forex trading platform and taken some introductory lecture to finance. Even so, I am often made to sweat through some of the exercises.

By the end of 8 weeks, I manage to complete the course and on 16th of November 2013, earned my first certificate, with distinction. Dr. Tucker Balch compiled the statistic of the course.

I really like the state of MOOC now, although I believe there is still much to improve. I loved that you could try again to achieve better result, this have help strengthen my intiution in many concepts, after all human are known to learn from mistakes. Other pointers that helped are being able to learn at your own pace, rewatch the videos as needed and connect with fellow students in the forums. Now I had my first taste of MOOC, I’m thirsty for more.

While the next part of Computational Investing won’t be available until fall 2014, I took up the Machine Learning course offered by Andrew Ng of Stanford Univerity and is into my 5th week of the 10 weeks course.

It have been a fun and fulfilling ride. Nowadays, I often shared with my friend and urge them to join me in MOOC. My wife had joined me by taking the course, An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python. I truly believe this is a great alternative to traditional education. It helps us approach education in a more casual manner and invoke the intrinsic motivation in us. In short, it make us a better human being.

Computational Investing, Part I (via Coursera)” by Tucker Balch / Darken from original