MPCS 52560 Applied Financial Technology (Autumn 2022)

Section 1
Instructor(s) Hall, Dylan (dmhall23)
Location RY 277
Meeting Times Tuesday 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Fulfills Elective


Applied Financial Technology (FinTech) is an applied, survey-based course into the concepts and technology underpinning financial innovation today.  Themes covered include US equities and trading algorithms, bond valuation, payments APIs, and asset tokenization and are based on the instructor's active and broad experience as a FinTech entrepreneur and passion for finance and economics.

Students will be expected to do some amount of coding in Python or Javascript each week.  Work will be group-based throughout the quarter with the exception of an individual final. 

Readings also will play a key role in understanding elements of finance which are not specifically related to technology.  These foundational concepts will provide the student with a solid appreciation of sound financial innovation across time and avoid some of the trappings of speculative manias that financial innovation can produce.

We will have a weekly, current topics sessions where we do a quick dive into different themes that are timely and in the news.  Previous discussions have included cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, inflation, interest rate changes, and more.  These enable us to balance a set curriculum with some of the items that emerge unexpectedly each week and also enable us to draw on our growing knowledge of FinTech.

Module 1: US Equities Trading

Programming Languages: & Frameworks

  • Python
  • QuantConnect

Topics Covered

  • Prices and Technical Analysis
  • Fama French Factors

Module 2: Bond and Mortgage-backed security valuation

Programming Languages & Framework

  • Javascript
  • TypeScript
  • React
  • Serverless Cloud

Topics Covered Include:

  • Interest rates
  • Yield curve
  • Cashflow analysis
  • Yield-to-maturity
  • Mortgage loans, prepayments, and defaults

Module 3: Payments, identity and credit

Programming Languages & Framwork

  • Javascript
  • TypeScript
  • React
  • Plaid / Stripe / Equifax / Estated / Oasis Parcel
  • Serverless Cloud

Topics Covered Include

  • FinTech programming workflows
  • Considerations in managing sensitive data

Module 4: Asset Tokenization

Programming Languages & Framework

  • Javascript
  • Typescript
  • Hedera Hashgraph

Topics Covered Include

  • Fungible tokens
  • Non-fungible tokens
  • Tokenization
  • DeFi ecosystems

Course Prerequisites

Core Programming

Other Prerequisites

Interest in finance. Some experience with Python and/or Javascript will be helpful but not required.

This course requires competency in Unix and Linux. Please plan to attend the MPCS Unix Bootcamp ( or review the UChicago CS Student Resource Guide here:

Overlapping Classes

This class is scheduled at a time that conflicts with these other classes:

  • MPCS 52011-1 -- Introduction to Computer Systems
  • MPCS 53001-1 -- Databases
  • MPCS 51230-1 -- User Interface and User Experience Design

Eligible Programs

Masters Program in Computer Science MS in Computational Analysis in Public Policy (Year 2) MA in Computational Social Science (Year 2) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 2: Professionally-oriented - CS Majors) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 3: Profesionally-oriented - Non-CS Majors)