Academic Financial Trading Platform Announces US Launch

New massively open online course platform will focus on business and financial education

May 29, 2013, 14:50 ET from Academic Financial Trading Platform

PITTSBURGH, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Academic Financial Trading Platform (AFTP), a new massively open online course (MOOC) platform designed to teach practical investment skills and enable smart financial decision-making, today announced its US launch after several months of beta testing. The AFTP platform is the first MOOC focused exclusively on bringing expert business & financial instruction and leading investment tools to the general public at no cost. Courses in Macroeconomics, Investment Analysis, and Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives will launch in June.

AFTP provides students of all ages interested in financial markets with an integrated curriculum of classes designed to teach both theoretical and practical business and investment skills. Courses are developed to be accessible to students new to the world of finance, though classes at the highest level will be equivalent to those at top business schools. Classes are taught by some of the world's top academics in the realm of financial strategy, including:

  • John C. Hull, Maple Financial Group Chair in Derivatives and Risk Management and Professor of Finance at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management
  • George Constantinides, Leo Melamed Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Anisha Ghosh, Frank A. and Helen E. Risch Faculty Development Professor of Business at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business
  • Christian Julliard, Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Finance at the London School of Economics

"Today, in the wake of the financial crisis, there is great public interest and need for sound instruction in how our financial markets function," said AFTP founder and Carnegie Mellon University professor Raj Chakrabarti. "Many Americans have historically handed their paychecks over to money managers, and simply hoped for the best as their savings went into the 'black box' of financial institutions' proprietary prediction techniques and analysis programs. By helping people better understand markets and the forces that shape them, AFTP will help the public demand more transparency from financial managers, or even allow people to make their own informed investment decisions with the same or better results."

In tandem with general instruction in finance and economics, AFTP's courses integrate publicly available investment tools developed at academic institutions—including advanced stock market prediction techniques, models, and trading strategies—to allow students to see the back end of investment strategies and test methodologies on historical or real market data. As desired, these tools and techniques can even be carried over into real-world trading, providing personal investors with a host of new tactics.

"At the core, our goal is to make investing more comprehensible and accessible to individuals," said AFTP co-founder, class instructor, and Carnegie Mellon University professor Anisha Ghosh.  "The information age offers access to enormous amounts of raw data, but we're trying to help people make sense of that data and make it useful to them in how they manage their money."

"I joined AFTP because I believe that it is pioneering an important way in which university-level teaching and key investment knowledge can be made available to a very wide audience," said celebrated University of Toronto professor and AFTP instructor John C. Hull, whose derivatives and risk management books are widely used both in the classroom and on trading desks.

For more information, please visit the AFTP web site at

About the Academic Financial Trading Platform

The Academic Financial Trading Platform was founded by Carnegie Mellon University professors Raj Chakrabarti and Anisha Ghosh with funding from PMC Advanced Technology—the technology investment arm of manufacturing conglomerate PMC Group—as part of its mission to democratize higher education to enhance the employability of students. Upcoming courses offered on the platform include Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives taught by Professor John C. Hull of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management (launching June 3rd) Investment Analysis taught by Professor Anisha Ghosh of Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business (June 17th), and Macroeconomics taught by Professor Christian Julliard of the London School of Economics (June 17th). Other upcoming courses include An Introduction to Corporate Finance, Financial and Managerial Accounting, and Performance Evaluation of Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds. While not awarded university credit, students can receive a certificate of completion for successfully passing AFTP courses.

Media Contacts:

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Michael Emerson Dirda
Edelman Public Affairs
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SOURCE Academic Financial Trading Platform