Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of Analytics
Being able to analyse business data is critical, says Wenqiang Liu who came to AUT as an international student from Datong in Shanxi Province, China, to study a Master of Analytics.
“With the globalisation of the economy, the impact of data on companies’ earnings in all walks of life is obvious. It’s important to understand this data and establish the mind of a data-critical analyst. That is why I chose to study the Master of Analytics. I had many friends who graduated from AUT, which made me very interested in AUT.”
This proved to be the right decision and he decided to stay on at AUT after completing his master’s degree in 2021 and is now enrolled in a PhD in mathematical sciences.
“There were three main reasons for me to decide to continue into the PhD. I was interested in both financial derivatives and deep learning, and wanted to do further research in this field. I also wanted to learn more about data analysis, and the teaching style of my primary PhD supervisor deeply attracted me to doctoral study as well.”
Predicting financial derivatives
For his PhD research, Wenqiang is investigating how to value and predict financial derivatives under a stochastic environment based on deep learning algorithms.
“The price movement of a stock in a ﬁnancial market or the dynamics of a risky investment have a stochastic feature. The ﬁrst successful mathematical model to handle these scenarios was created by F. Black and Nobel Laureate M. Scholes in 1973. Since then, the financial market forecasting and valuation of financial derivatives have attracted a great deal of interests from the business community. Recently, computational intelligence has become an active topic for forecasting and valuation in academic researchers and financial practitioners. Empirical results show that deep learning models tend to outperform classical models.
“However, there are only a handful of studies that apply deep learning to the valuation of options. The aim of my research is to build up models for the valuation and prediction of options through deep learning approaches. I hope to contribute to the research community and the financial industry by using a combination of deep learning and mathematical option computation models. The outcomes of the study may also help investors make better decisions to reduce investment risk.”
His research is being supervised by Professor Jiling Cao, Dr Wenjun Zhang and Associate Professor Wei Qi Yan from AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.
The right university environment
He is grateful that AUT provides such a comfortable and safe learning environment for its students, says Wenqiang whose PhD is supported by an AUT’s Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.
“I’ve often studied at the AUT City Campus until 10pm or even later but have rarely felt tired. The design of the lab’s desks and chairs is very scientific, which allows me to focus on my studies for longer. AUT also provides a lot of daily necessities in the postgraduate study spaces, including hot water, coffee and milk. I also always feel deeply moved when I leave the campus at night and I can see the busy figures of the cleaning and the security staff.”
He would highly recommend the analytics and mathematical sciences programmes to other students.
“These programmes are not just about theoretical knowledge; each course also pays great attention to the practical application of the knowledge points. This means that students can better understand where and why what they have learnt can be applied in those areas.”