Master of Financial Engineering Program

Class of 2005 Bios (Barone - Cummings)

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Luca Barone earned a bachelor’s and a master’s with a double major in economics and finance at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome. After spending a semester in London (UK), where he attended finance courses at the Cass Business School of City University, he graduated summa cum laude at Luiss, with his thesis on Executive Stock Options being awarded a Special Mention from the Graduation Committee. During his undergraduate studies, Luca completed an internship at Salomon Brothers International in London, in the Energy Group, Investment Banking Division. He also worked in the CEO’s technical staff at Capitalia, one of the largest Italian banking groups, where he evaluated real estate investments and acquisition projects. Luca plans to apply the skills developed in the MFE Program to deal with derivatives in the financial strategies group of an investment bank. He was a National Go-Kart Racing driver, and enjoys soccer, snowboarding, tennis, horseback riding, music, cinema and poetry.

Luca Barone

Ryan Braniff

Ryan Braniff completed his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley earning a BA in economics with a minor in mathematics. Ryan has over three years of experience in the financial services industry working as a sales analyst for the Venture Services and Special Situations Trading Desk at Banc of America Securities, LLC, in San Francisco. He applied for the MFE program in order to extend his quantitative analytical skills to the fields of equity financial product services and asset management. In his free time, Ryan's hobbies include running, soccer, snowboarding and golf.

Marc Carnahan recently earned his PhD in condensed matter physics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he also took MBA courses in finance. His research focused on understanding the complex interaction of correlated electrons in solids. Marc holds a BA (Phi Beta Kappa) from Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Physics from Columbia University. He joined the MFE program to learn how best to apply his quantitative skills in a financial setting. After the MFE, he plans to develop quantitative investment strategies for an asset management institution or investment bank. He currently lives in San Francisco where he enjoys tennis, skiing, reading, and good food.

March Carnahan

Ching-Chieh Chang

Ching-Chieh Chang worked as a project manager at Polaris Securities Group in Taiwan before the MFE program. At Polaris, Ching-chieh managed trading systems design and modeling risk. One of her major contributions was to qualify Polaris Securities Group to issue the first Exchange Traded Fund and Forward Rate Agreement. She holds a BA in finance from National Taiwan University. After completing the MFE Program, she plans to utilize her quantitative and problem-solving skills in the field of empirical finance. In her free time, Ching-chieh enjoys singing, traveling, and swimming.

Eric Chang holds a BA in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of Business. Prior to joining the MFE program, he was an analyst at Deutsche Bank where he worked in the Ratings Advisory Group, assisting clients with their rating matters and working closely with both clients and rating agencies to perform credit-enhancement, financial forecast, and cash flow analyses. Eric also developed several credit models and a pension model. His experience at Deutsche Bank convinced him to pursue a career in quantitative finance. He plans to use the MFE to study financial instruments in depth, which will lead him to create new and more efficient financial products. After the program, Eric plans to work in the financial industry in areas such as structured finance, asset/liabilities strategies and multi-strategy hedge-funds. He also hopes to bring the advanced financial knowledge he learned from the MFE to other parts of the world.

Eric Chang

Elizabeth Chen

Elizabeth Chen received her BS in industrial engineering and operations research from UC Berkeley, where she also minored in business administration. Prior to the MFE program, Elizabeth worked as a research analyst at Western Valuation Services, Inc., where she completed business valuation assignments including mergers and acquisitions, employee stock ownership plans, and gift tax. In addition, she formulated and tested long-term investment strategies, which sparked her interests in financial engineering. After the MFE program, Elizabeth plans to apply her quantitative skills to derivative valuation and risk management. In her free time, she enjoys tae-kwon-do, snowboarding, and traveling.

Xu Cheng was a Lead Systems Analyst at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, where his primary responsibilities involved the development and implementation of a reporting application to support risk management for the Office of Investment. Prior to Nationwide, Xu was a consultant with the American Management Systems, an IT consulting company. Before coming to the US, Xu joined the HSBC executive development program and worked three years in the Hong Kong headquarters serving a number of positions including imports/exports, credit risk analysis, branch operation and project finance. After the MFE program, Xu hopes to conduct quantitative research and modeling in fixed income strategies for an investment bank or asset management institution. He holds a BA in Economics from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. Xu enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Xu Cheng

Emily Chiang

Emily Chiang graduated from Cornell University with a BS in operations research and industrial engineering, where the field of financial engineering first piqued her interest. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she worked in the Emerging Markets Credit Derivatives Product Control Group at Credit Suisse First Boston. Her insatiable curiosity has led her to the MFE program at Haas, with hopes of making the transition from analyzing deals and trades post facto to structuring them. Her interests outside of the financial arena include world travel, music, pottery, and dance.

Jihwan Choi received his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University where he majored in economics. He joined the MFE program as the first beneficiary of the Samsung Lee Kun Hee Scholarship Foundation. His past work experience includes internships at Arthur Andersen Korea, and Yoon & Yang, a major law firm. After the MFE program, Jihwan hopes to work as a fixed income securities or derivatives trader. Jihwan speaks both English and Korean fluently. Jihwan enjoys alpine skiing, swimming and good food.

Jihwan Choi

Alan Cummings

Alan Cummings has over eight years of experience developing models and algorithms in various technology industries. While at Honeywell, he designed, modeled, and characterized infrared gauges. At National Instruments, he was a project manager and developed algorithms for use with radio frequency measurement hardware. Alan received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Florida State University, and a PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. After finishing the MFE program, he plans to use his quantitative skills to model derivative prices. Alan’s publications include papers in Physical Review Letters and Nuclear Instrumentation and Methods. His other interests include reading, editing digital videos, and many outdoor pursuits.

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