SUMMARY
I started in my current position at University of Georgia in Fall 2008. My primary teaching load was to teach upperlevel finance courses, FINA 4310 (Survey of Investments) and FINA 4330 (Trading Strategies and Financial Models). The latter course is a new course I developed from scratch. I successfully taught the new course to about 200 students in the six semesters since the introduction. While teaching the new course, I have written the accompanying textbook that is currently being considered for publication by John Wiley and Sons.
In addition, I taught three semesters of a PhDlevel course, FINA 9210 (Empirical Research in Investments), which has received excellent ratings from the students, and the three semesters of FirstYear Odyssey Seminar (Trading and Risks) for incoming freshmen. The program of the freshmen seminar was also developed from scratch.
In Spring 2013, the students from Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity recognized my teaching of the Trading Strategies course by the Alpha Kappa Psi Teaching Award.
TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
In teaching finance courses, I believe in three things: hard work, handson experience, and making students think rather than memorize.
I believe that the optimal outcome of the learning process is achieved only if both the students and the instructor work hard during the course. I expect the students in my courses to put in significant number of hours in completing the homework and studying for the tests. I also realize that when the students work hard, it makes the instructor work even harder, and I welcome that. I spend significant amount of time developing the original homework rather than resorting to standard problems, and I make it a rule to be always available to help if the students have questions. I would routinely see students outside of the normal office hours and answer their questions by email in the evening. I believe that my mission as a teacher is to lead students through the difficult areas in the subject rather than to oversimplify things in order to make students more comfortable and make my outofclass working hours shorter.
I believe it is impossible to learn how to swim if you never touch water. Therefore, I strongly believe that finance courses should give students experience in trading and in analyzing the historical data from financial markets. In my undergraduate investments course, I address those two needs by, first, having students actively trade in StockTrak (the simulation trading environment based on real market data), and, second, by including in my course empirical projects that analyze historical stock returns. In my PhD course in asset pricing, I supplement the discussion of the relevant research by empirical homeworks that gradually introduce students to working with SAS and the most popular WRDS data sets, with the final goal of bringing the students to the level at which they can reproduce the empirical results of one of the papers we cover.
I believe in the adage "education is what is left after you have forgot everything you learned". I believe that students should be wellequipped not only for taking the tests, but also for making use of their knowledge several years down the road. I understand that five or ten years down the road they will forget the formulas and the approaches to solving the standard problems. They will forget the exact CAPM formula, but if they understand while taking the course that only undiversifiable risk matters and/or that a risky asset is the asset that loses value when the market goes down, they are less likely to forget that and they will make more use out of that than out of the CAPM formula they memorized (and then most probably forgot). They will forget the costofcarry formula, but if they learn how to use futures market to profit from the mispricing of a commodity, they will probably be able to derive the formula on the spot.
