Tulane University Brings Real-Time Trading to the Classroom

November 19, 2007

Keith Brannon
Phone: (504) 862-8789

Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business has partnered with Reuters and Trading Technologies to enable students to experience true, real-time market trading conditions right in the classroom.

The first-of-its-kind teaching simulation brings the software and commodity systems used in most commercial trading houses to Freeman’s trading center, a $2.5 million state-of-the-art classroom built to mimic a trading floor. The simulation is being used for the first time this semester by students enrolled in Energy Fundamentals and Trading, a class focusing on principles of energy futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

Freeman is the first and only business school to combine the Trading Technologies and Reuters Market Data System solutions in the classroom. The Reuters system is unique for two reasons. It gives students experience using the exact commercial operating system they would use the day they started working for a trading company; it also allows instructors to replay actual, real-time commodity data into the system to simulate true-to-life market condition as they would happen on the job.

"We’re able to capture actual market data and news on any item, edit the data, and replay the information with all the Reuters market tickers, charts and news lit up like the market was open," said Adjunct Professor Joe LeBlanc, who teaches the trading class. "This type of creative technology, along with the ability to control the speed of the data will help us teach students about many types of trading situations."

 "Giving students access to the same powerful systems used by actual traders gives Tulane students a distinct advantage in the marketplace," said Nick Dicosola, vice president of the Professional Services Group at Reuters. "Professors will have the ability to hone the trading skills of their students by exposing them to a wide range of real-life market situations. Beyond this, Tulane students will leave school with a valuable working knowledge of how the trading systems operate, allowing them to hit the ground running on their first day as a trader."

In addition, Tulane is incorporating X_Trader software, a donation from Trading Technologies, Inc. The software will be integrated with the Reuters system to allow students to enter mock transactions on the same rapidly evolving electronic trading platforms being implemented by numerous exchanges.

"Providing students with applicable real-world experiences is what sets Freeman apart," said Angelo S. DeNisi, dean of the Freeman School. "The Reuters Market Data System continues our tradition of delivering the kind of unique, innovative programs you can’t find anywhere else."

The simulation will likely be expanded to other courses taught in the trading room classroom. Initial response to the system has been so favorable that the school has received inquiries from energy companies interested in recruiting students specifically from this class in Freeman's MBA program.

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