Chris is a Sr. Portfolio Manager - Quantitative Equity for Whitebox
Advisors, working primarily on equity market modeling outside of the
United States. He is also an active researcher for the Whitebox
quantitative group, where he works on varied problems in the context of
equity, derivative, and fixed income strategies.
Dr. Bemis earned his PhD in applied mathematics from the University of
Minnesota. His thesis work involved both modeling and optimization for
portfolios of risky assets.
John is Vice President, Quantitative Risk Management at the Options
Clearing Corporation in Chicago, which is the principal central
counterparty for equity derivatives. Previously, John was with the
treasury and investment risk management departments of Ameriprise
Financial in Minneapolis. Prior to returning to the midwest, John
worked for several major international banks in New York, London, and
Zurich. He entered the industry out of college with an appointment at
the Bank for International Settlements.
John is an Adjunct professor with MCFAMs Master of Financial
Mathematics (MFM) program. In addition to his affiliation with MCFAMs
MFM program, John has taught about financial derivatives for the Carlson
School of Management and for various industry programs.
John has a BS degree in physics and mathematics from Stanford and an MS
degree in computational finance
from Carnegie Mellon. John's affiliation with the U of M goes back to
the 80's. He was an UMTYMP
student and also participated in a mentorship program with the head of
the physics department during his high school years.
Ph.D., MCFAM Postdoc
Dr. Elisabeth Kemajou is a MCFAM Post Doc and an Assistant Professor in
the School of Mathematics. She earned her Ph.D in July 2012 from Southern Illinois University in
Carbondale, Illinois (SIUC). Her research interests include
Stochastic Analysis and Applications as well as Statistics. Since
2009, she has been an instructor at SIUC in the Mathematics Department
teaching Probability, Linear Programming, Business Calculus and College
Algebra. Dr. Kemajou has a strong background in teaching undergraduate
mathematics such as Calculus I and II as well as Algebra. Prior to
teaching at SIUC, she spent 12 years teaching high school mathematics in
Cameroon. Dr. Kemajou now teaches in the MFM program and will continue her
research in the fields of financial and actuarial mathematics.
Aileen Conlon Lyle
MAAA, FCAS, Actuarial Adviser and Lecturer
Ms. Lyle is responsible for teaching actuarial classes for MCFAM, as well
as advising actuarial students on academic issues and providing career
counseling. She is also involved in developing partnerships with the
actuarial business sector. Ms. Lyle has over thirty years of actuarial
expertise in the property/casualty and health insurance industries. She
has worked for Milliman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, the
Travelers Companies, and CNA. She has extensive experience in pricing,
product development, reserving and financial forecasting for both
property/casualty and health insurance products. She is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a
Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
She has a Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science from the University
of Illinois at Urbanaâ<80><93>Champaign. She is a board member for several
non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities, and is a commissioner for the
city of Woodbury, MN.
Dr. Blaise Morton has a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Princeton and a Ph. D. degree in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley. He worked in the aerospace industry and in academics from 1980 until 1999, but since the start of 2000 he has worked full time in finance as a quant and trader.
Dr. Morton is currently working as a quant/trader at the hedge fund Whitebox Advisors, LLC. Previous to Whitebox he worked at EBF, Dresdner Bank, DRW and Eagle Capital Management. During his financial career he has led a variety of quantitative research and development projects - computerized trading systems, derivative pricing, spread trading, valuation of convertible bonds, valuation of credit derivatives, stochastic volatility models and volatility forecasting, variance swaps and dispersion trades, real options and barrier options.
These research activities have led to dozens of models, pricing tools and strategies that traders have used over extended periods of time to achieve targeted return on capital subject to specified risk constraints.
Chris is serving as the instructor for FM 5091/5092: Programming and
Presentation in Finance.
Chris began his financial career as a research assistant at the Federal
Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. Since graduating from the University
of Minnesota with a B.S. in Applied
Economics, Chris has worked in commodities and insurance, in roles
focusing on trading and risk management through derivative strategies.
Chris currently works for Cargill,
where he is an exotic derivatives trader.
During college and shortly thereafter Chris operated a small software
consulting firm, CP Consulting. He has completed freelance software
development projects for Twin Cities firms, including the University
of Minnesota Foundation and ACR ATI, a firm which offers employee
testing services to the health care industry.
Breanne Richins is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. She has worked at Securian Financial Group as an Associate Actuary for the past seven years. Ms. Richins has broad actuarial experience including individual life pricing and product development, economic valuation of liabilities and actuarial modeling of new and existing products. She received her Bachelor degree in Statistics with an emphasis in Actuarial Science from Brigham Young University. She teaches Theory of Interest in the University of Minnesota’s Actuarial Mathematics program.
Tom Schwartzbauer is a Visiting Professor Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota. He teaches Theory of Interest in the Actuarial Science Program, and also works with the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP). He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Notre Dame, and his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. He retired from The Ohio State University after teaching Mathematics for 25 years. His major interests outside of Mathematics are classical music, as well as German and Austrian culture, literature and language.
His field is mathematical and statistical methods in applications to finance, insurance, and engineering. He teaches classes in evening programs at the U of M since 2006. Arkady also does research and consulting, most recently in the fields of Bayesian statistical analysis, copula models, and Markov chain Monte Carlo.
Kaisa Taipale is a mathematician with interests from the (pure) mathematics of string theory to applications in climate modeling and finance. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in algebraic geometry in 2010, Dr. Taipale taught at St. Olaf College for two years. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, CA, and visiting assistant professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, during the 2012-2013 academic year. This year Dr. Taipale is teaching with MCFAM and the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP) and exploring the changing nature of mathematics research and education in the online age. She is running a blog on the mathematics of the planet earth at earthcalculus.com.
Dr. Carlos Tolmasky is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and
Associate Director of Industrial Programs at the IMA. Carlos splits his
time between MCFAM and the IMA. He was part of the
founding team of industry practitioners and academics who developed
the Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program within MCFAM.
Since the inception of the MFM he has continued to teach the
yearlong MFM course sequence called "Mathematical Theory Applied in
Finance". His research focus is Mathematical Finance. Prior to
his full time appointment at the University of Minnesota. Dr.
Tolmasky was a derivatives trader at Cargill Petroleum. He joined Cargill
in 1996 as a member of their Research Group focusing on the
development and implementation of derivatives models for fixed
income and commodities markets. He later joined the petroleum group
as a "desk quant" and, more recently, as a derivatives/relative
value trader. He holds an undergraduate degree (Licenciado) from the
University of Buenos Aires and a PhD in mathematics from the
University of Washington.
MCFAM Teaching Specialist and Actuarial Academic Advisor
Doreen's background includes 12 years of work experience and a degree in
Mathematics with an Actuarial Science Specialization from the University
of Minnesota. She brings strong analytical, organizational and leadership
skills to her role within MCFAM. She ran her own small business for many
years and has worked with the elderly and disabled. Her teaching and
mentoring includes diverse experiences within K-12 education and the Boy
Scouts of America. She has tutored at college, high school, and elementary
levels. Most recently Doreen taught math to immigrant populations at the
English Learning Center in Minneapolis. Her analytical experience includes
assignments for Founder Memorial Library/Northern Illinois University
Libraries, including: library records management prior to online
conversion and reestablishing a gifts and exchanges program. She has
worked more recently to provide compliant record-keeping and spreadsheet
analysis for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Doreen has a strong
understanding of US and State Health Care Systems and it continues to be
an on-going area of interest for her. She has passed both the FM and the P
exams, is currently studying for the MLC exam.
Jason Vinar is Director of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, focused on investing, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and related investments. Two Harbors is a Pine River Capital Management company.
Throughout the course of his career he has also been involved in mathematical modeling and programming, platform architecture and data management. Prior to Two Harbors Jason was a Financial Engineer at Ameriprise Financial in the Quantitative Strategies Group. There he worked in a team involved in the design, development and implementation of financial applications and hedging platforms for the variable annuity living benefit riders within Ameriprise Financial. Previously Mr. Vinar was also Partner at Castle Peak Capital Advisors where he was responsible for model development and implementation for residential mortgage related products. He was also an Analytics Manager for the PIA unit at GMAC-ResCap. In this capacity he was responsible for managing the trading analytics and risk management functions of the PIA. Prior to that, he was Project Lead/Lead Developer for Financial Engineering projects in the Risk and Value Analytics group of GMAC-ResCap. Jason holds a Master's degree in Financial Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor's degrees, in Mathematics and Economics, from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
MCFAM Post Doc
Dr. Tzu-Wei Yang was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University's
Department of Mathematics prior to joining MCFAM. He got his PhD from the
Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford
University where his advisor was Dr. George C. Papanicolaou, the Robert
Grimmett Professor of Mathematics at Stanford. Dr. Yang's research
interests cover stochastic differential equations, financial mathematics
and uncertainty quantification. Dr. Yang also has a B.S in Applied
Mathematics from National Chiao Tung University, and an MS in Electrical
Engineering from National Taiwan University in Taiwan. More details on his
current research can be found at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~yangx953/
Ph.D., MCFAM Postdoc
Dr. Yudovina will complete her National Science Foundation (NSF)
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan in the
summer of 2014. She earned her PhD in Mathematics from the University of
Cambridge in the UK in 2012 under Prof. Frank Kelly and a BA summa cum
laude in Mathematics in 2008 from Harvard University. Elena's research
interests include queueing theory, change-point problems, and compressed
sensing. She has been awarded various prestigious fellowships such as the
NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 2012 as well
as an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2008. She was a consultant at
the Center for Statistics Consultation and Research (CSCAR) at the
University of Michigan in 2014, a summer visitor at Alcatel-Lucent Bell
Labs in 2010 and 2011, and part of a cancer modeling project at the
Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008. Dr. Yudovina has assisted
statistical software workshops at CSCAR in Michigan, supervised
undergraduates in mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and has been
a course assistant at Harvard and a counsellor at the Ross Summer
Mathematics Program. For more detail on Elena's research and activities go