FIN 340: Finance

The course that I will be delivering in hybrid format in the Fall term is FIN 340: Finance. This course is required of all Finance major, and represents the first Finance course that these majors would take as part of the major.The course provides students with a set of tools and basic theory related to the primary areas of Finance; and focuses on having students understand that many decisions and analyses in Finance rely on the application of the same set of tools. For example, basic stock valuation is simply an application of the time value of money; as are any capital budgeting decisions that corporations make.

In order for students to be successful in the course, they must (1) understand, from a mathematical perspective, how to apply the various tools/equations; (2) understand theory that underlies each of the tools, for example, they should be able to justify the use of a particular value for a variable within an equation; (3) understand the results of the application of these tools; and (4) understand the limitations of the tools for a particular application.

I taught this class in the Fall of AY16-17 and also a number of other times a few years back. I typically spent approximately half the class time providing students with a theoretical understanding of a particular topic, followed by a description of the relevant tools and equations, followed by numerical examples. I used both power point and the board (to carry out examples) to accomplish this.

In the hybridized version of the course, I intend to develop short videos or screencasts capturing the theory, and going over the tools/equations. Students will be expected to review these in addition to readings prior each week. I will then have students complete numerical assignments related to the topic, followed by a short quiz to gauge their understanding of the topic. I also expect to use a feedback tool from 100X that the College of Business is considering to allow students to ‘guide’ the face-to-face sessions. This will represent the weekly online component of the course. I will use the results of the  quizzes and student feedback to adapt my face-to-face lecture, with the focus being on going over numerical examples, and providing students with in-class time to go over problems again as well.

In a nutshell, this describes my intent.



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One Response to FIN 340: Finance

  1. morrijoh says:

    Prem, I really value the work you are doing in FIN 340! The hybrid course I’m developing (BA 466) has numerous opportunities to use the models and logic students develop in your course. In the version I teach using a computer simulation, student teams run a small manufacturing business in competition with other student-led companies. They must decide between locating manufacturing in each of three global regions versus manufacturing in one region and transporting to the others. They must determine when they have reached a point of diminishing returns with respect to marketing, R&D, and operations expenditures. And they must make decisions around how to finance expansions or recover from market contractions using a variety of short- and long-term loans, investments, and stock issuance or buy backs.

    Many students approach these decisions “from the gut” rather than crunching the numbers despite the fact those raw numbers are easily available in the software and various reference documents. The teams that do employ a “quant jock” in their group usually outperform those who “wing it” only. I look forward to having students come from your course to mine looking for opportunities to employ what they have learned!

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