No particular requirement for students having successfully completed a BSc in physics or mathematics. Students with a different background are advised to seek prior interaction with the instructor.
The course provides an overview of the subject of Econophysics, presented as an active research field with many open questions, rather than an established discipline with settled results. Economic and financial systems are regarded as complex systems composed of many interacting and networked units. Extensive empirical results and theoretical tools, including probability theory, random matrix theory and graph theory, are introduced. The course has a modular structure and its schedule is organized into four intense weeks, roughly one per month, each covering a relatively self-contained topic of increasing complexity.
Introduction to Econophysics and elements of probability theory;
Single financial time series: empirical properties versus the random walk model;
Multiple financial time series: empirical cross-correlations and Random Matrix Theory;
Financial and economic networks: empirical properties and random graph models.
Understanding what types of scientific problems the field of Econophysics deals with;
Understanding the evolution of some key research questions in the field;
Acquiring a sufficient knowledge of probability theory to be applicable to Econophysics problems;
Acquiring a scientific perspective giving priority to reconciling models with empirical data.
Scientific curiousity, creating connections among different contexts and disciplines, thinking out of the box, being able to formulate hypotheses about problems for which one has no prior knowledge, abstraction and generalization in a multidisciplinary context.
See timetable in Brightspace.
Mode of instruction
Combination of frontal lectures, group work, and seminars/presentations. More information and all material will be available on Brightspace.
Student presentations and written exam.
As homework assignment during the course, students will be forming small groups (of 2-3 students each) and each group will prepare a short presentation, to be delivered to the rest of the class, about a pre-assigned recent research article in the field of Econophysics. The topic of such articles, while being connected to the course content, will also expand beyond it and provide extra learning material for the class. Students will receive a grade for their presentations, based on the demonstrated level of understanding and clarity.
At the end of the course, a compulsory written examination will take place. If the grade of the written exam is greater than or equal to 5.5, then the final grade of the course will be calculated as the (rounded) maximum of the grade of the written exam and the 50%-50% average of the written exam and the presentation. If the final grade is not successful (below 6/10), or if the written exam is not successful (below 5.5), students can take a written retake exam and the final grade will be recalculated using the same rules as above.
Required: course slides and other notes/material (available on BrightSpace).
Suggested: textbook “Econophysics: An Introduction” by S. Sinha, A. Chatterjee, A. Chakraborti, B.K. Chakrabarti (Publisher: Wiley-VCH, 2010; ISBN: 978-3-527-40815-3).
Lecturer: Dr. D. Garlaschelli