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Anfu Financial Engineering Research Center to be Established at NTHU
In recent years, the emergence of financial technology has transformed the financial industry. On November 22 NTHU received a donation of NT$10 million from the Global Social Science Institute (GSSI) for the establishment of the Anfu Financial Engineering Research Center (AFERC). AFERC will promote the use of financial technology to enhance the cooperation between industry and academia, and in March 2019 the Center will begin to publish a monthly Tsinghua Anfu House Price Index, and will also set up a free housing valuation network.
 
Prof. Lin Che-chun, the director of the Department of Quantitative Finance, said that through big data analysis, quantitative modeling, artificial intelligence, GPS, and comparison of the market information provided by existing networks, the Index will provide information on real estate values on a monthly basis. Moreover, the Index will provide accurate valuations down to the district level (such as Taipei's Da-an District), whereas existing Indexes are limited to the county and city levels, and updated only four times a year.
 
Lin pointed out that the current government official appraisal system is based on zones comprised of 30 housing units. However, in an area with lots of high-rise buildings of the same age and height, it can be difficult to determine which building the valuation applies to. Also, the appraisal system used by real estate companies is mainly based on recent sale prices, but such a limited amount of data reduces accuracy. By contrast, the Index to be published by AFERC will be more precise, and it will be able to provide appraisals for townhouses as well as individual floors in the same building.
 
Lin also said that by making real estate values more transparent, the Index published by NTHU will help banks and the public to better assess the risks and benefits of investments and loans. Furthermore, the Center is planning to develop an application which will allow us to use a smart phone to easily make appraisals on the spot, and also to compare the loan terms offered by different banks correlating to the customer’s profession, age, and other factors.
 
GSSI president Tyler Yang has worked for many years on Wall Street. In order to give something back to Taiwan, he and Lin have jointly established the AFERC to serve as a platform for the exchange of cutting-edge financial technology between the domestic and international financial sectors and to enhance the education of financial professionals.
 
For over a decade Yang served as an independent actuary for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and has also been a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University. As a member of the first generation of financial technology engineers, Yang has been involved in the development of quantitative analysis models and financial innovation products. He has also been the Senior Director of Credit Portfolio Engineering at Freddie Mac, and for many years has been a consultant to various financial regulatory agencies of the US federal government. He now hopes to use his 30 years of experience in finance, industry, academia, and management to make a major contribution to the financial industry in Taiwan.
 
Yang said that as a financial professional he gives much importance to reliability, and that he spent a long time considering various partners before finally settling on NTHU. Representing NTHU at the donation ceremony was senior vice president of academic affairs Chen Sinn-wen. He said that although the College of Technology Management is one of the newest colleges at NTHU, it has already established a strong reputation for excellent research in the field of financial technology, and that the development of Taiwan's financial industry will be significantly enhanced by Yang’s effort.
 
Prof. Tseng Fan-gang, the director of the Office of Research and Development, said that NTHU has recently established the Blockchain Law & Policy Center, and that the addition of the AFERC will make NTHU a leading authority in the fields of finance and technology management.
 
Chuang Hwei-lin, the dean of the College of Technology Management, said that she was very impressed by Yang’s donation, especially since the College is just 18 years old, and that the addition of the AFERC will greatly contribute to the development of the college and enhance its contribution to Taiwanese society.
 
Lin said that in addition to integrating NTHU’s existing courses relating to financial technology and financial engineering, the AFERC will also cooperate with industry to conduct research projects in such areas as financial engineering, model validation, asset valuation, securitization, portfolio management, economic forecasting, and financial policy.
 
On December 5 the AFERC held a symposium titled Real Estate Banking Services and the Online Automated Valuation Model, featuring Jesse Abraham, senior vice president of modeling at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, who discussed how the US financial institutions use online automated real estate valuation to make decisions.
 

The Global Social Science Institute has recently donated NT$10 million for the establishment of the Anfu Financial Engineering Research Center at NTHU.

The Global Social Science Institute has recently donated NT$10 million for the establishment of the Anfu Financial Engineering Research Center at NTHU.


VIPs at the donation ceremony (left to right): Chuang Hwei-lin, Tseng Fan-gang, Chen Sinn-wen, Tyler Yang, NTHU vice president and chief of staff Lyu Ping-chiang, and Lin Che-chun.

VIPs at the donation ceremony (left to right): Chuang Hwei-lin, Tseng Fan-gang, Chen Sinn-wen, Tyler Yang, NTHU vice president and chief of staff Lyu Ping-chiang, and Lin Che-chun.


NTHU president Hocheng Hong (second from right) was also on hand to thank Yang (second from left) for his generous donation.

NTHU president Hocheng Hong (second from right) was also on hand to thank Yang (second from left) for his generous donation.

	Senior Vice President Chen (right) and Yang holding a replica of the donation check.

Senior Vice President Chen (right) and Yang holding a replica of the donation check.

 

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