FIN 203: Quantitative Finance

Professor Philip Howard

Course Description

Welcome to FIN 203: Quantitative Finance. This course will teach quantitative tools for analysis in finance. We will learn descriptive statistics, numerical optimization, regression analysis, decision trees and simulation analysis. Application of these methods to finance will be stressed throughout the course. We will explore historical data, portfolio theory, asset pricing, and option pricing. Finally, we will achieve proficiency in commonly used software to implement our methods for analyses. Specifically, we will focus on the spreadsheet software Excel and simulation software Crystal Ball.

Course Website & Documents

Announcements, assignments, course materials, and grades will be posted to Sakai. You are required to check Sakai daily as it will be an integral part of the course.

Course Policies

I expect all students to be present and prepared for each class. To facilitate this interaction, students are required to have name placards and display them in class. Students will be randomly cold called to perform problems or explain concepts to the class. Lack of preparation will lower your final grade. No phones, tablets, or laptops are allowed during class unless instructed. I will ask you to leave if you use these devices in class. Bring your laptop to every class. All students are required to have Office 365 (available at Software@WFU) installed on Windows 10 (available via WFU’s OnTheHub).



In this course, we will reinforce our lectures with homework assignments. You are expected to complete all problems by their deadline, as they will help facilitate learning the material covered in lectures. Your lowest homework grade will be dropped. I do not accept late assignments.


Our midterm will be held from 6pm-9pm on Tuesday, March 5th in rooms 155 and 157.

Our final exam will be held from 9am-noon on Friday, May 3rd in room A27/A28.


Homework will count 20% of your grade. There will be a midterm and final exam, both consisting of 40% of your grade. If you do poorly on the midterm, I will reweight the homework 25%, the midterm 25% and the final exam 50%, whichever gives you the higher grade. The +/- grading system will divide the 10-point grade ranges into intervals, i.e. 100 to 94.00 A, 93.99 to 90.00 A-, 89.99 to 87.00 B+, 86.99 to 83.00 B, 82.99 to 80 B-, etc.

There will be no make-up midterms. If you miss the midterm for an officially excused absence, the weight of the missed midterm will be distributed to the final exam. If you do not have an official excuse, you will receive a 0 on the midterm.

Honor Code

Integrity is one of Wake Forest University’s School of Business core values. Violations of the honor code will result in an F in the course.