Sri Lanka is inundated with various crises and to forecast and face such critical situations not only accountancy and management are important, but also financial mathematics.
To fill this gap in the financial sector in Sri Lanka, the Department of Mathematics, University of Colombo last week launched two study courses: MSc Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Mathematics and MSc Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematics Education.
Prof. P W Epasinghe, Senior Advisor to the President was the Chief Guest at the event and Dr Naveen Gunawardene, Senior Vice President, Amba Research (Pvt) Ltd was the Guest of Honour. Dr J K Wijerethna, Head, Department of Mathematics, University of Colombo said that the two Mathematics courses are aimed at catering to the growing demand for a knowledge in Mathematics locally and internationally.
He said that Mathematics plays a crucial role in education at the primary and secondary levels. At the tertiary level a basic knowledge of Mathematics is essential for every graduate in pursuing a successful career in the present society.
Dr Sanjeewa Perera, Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Department of Mathematics, Colombo University told the Business Times that at a time Sri Lanka is engulfed with various financial crises, Financial Mathematics is vitally important. He said that in the financial sphere it is not only accountancy and management that matters but financial mathematics too has become important because there is a lot of forecasting and statistics involved.
Dr Perera said that the consumer price structure is not done properly these days and quoting an example he said that today an item would be price marked at one rupee but tomorrow it would be as high as two rupees or as low as 10 cents. He said that there should be randomization to handle such kind of situations and thus the necessity of higher knowledge of mathematics and statistics.
He said that Financial Mathematics is a flourishing area of modern science. Since the pioneering days of Black, Scholes and Merton, the subject has developed rapidly into a substantial body of knowledge. Its numerous applications have become vital to the day to day functioning of the world's leading financial institutions. Dr Perera said that the objective of the Master of Financial Mathematics is to enhance the quantitative finance knowledge of the graduates to an international level in the sense of theory and practice. The programme is intended to train students with financial skills required to operate in an increasingly competitive international environment.
He said that those with this qualification could serve the needs of the financial and insurance sectors and there could be employment opportunities as finance directors, treasurers, bankers, stockbrokers, financiers, credit managers, financial analysts, und managers, actuarial analysts etc.
Dr Gunawardene said that earlier people thought that finance meant accounting and management, but it is not correct and went on to explain as to how mathematics is used in statistics and finance.
He said that the study courses introduced by the Department of Mathematics, University of Colombo suits ideally for the purpose of assisting to face up to the needs of the financial market in the country.