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Emma Juettner ’20
Emma Juettner ’20 has always been interested and passionate about computer science and programming. Through the Richter Program, Juettner has found real-world applications for coding in the world of finance—an area she never considered.
Through her work with Assistant Professor of Finance Muris Hadzic, Juettner is exploring new applications for coding in the complex world of finance and stocks.
Q: Tell us about your research project.
A: We’re looking at news data from a database compiled by RavenPack, which has a lot of data about news stories that relate to different stocks. It rates the sentiment of each news story, like how positive or how negative it is. Then we look at how the positiveness or negativeness of those news stories impacts stock turns.
Q: How do you go through all of this?
A: Coding. There are 118 million items in this database so you can’t go through and look at them all individually. You have to write programs to go through and find the statistics you’re looking for. We started out writing some basic programs to find things like: What’s the average sentiment of a news article? What’s the average sentiment for each individual stock that we’re looking at? Currently, we’re working on running an investment strategy test so that we’ll simulate buying certain stocks and selling others and we’ll get an average trend in the end that will tell us if our strategy is successful.
Q: How will it benefit you to work with a professor this early in your academic career?
A: I think it’s really beneficial to see how some of the skills we learn in class can be transferred to research and practical applications. For this project, I’ve been working with Python to analyze the dataset we’re using, and it’s been really great to see how the things that I’ve learned in my computer science classes can be put to use in other fields, like finance. I think it’s definitely a lot more complex than working on homework assignments in class. When professors assign homework, they already know what they’re looking for. In this case, it’s more like you’re working together to try to figure out a problem.
Q: How will your experience in the Richter program help prepare you for your future career?
A: This Richter project has given me some great experience at writing code to solve a real-world problem, and it’s made me consider the broader range of career fields that can be pursued with a background in math and computer science. It’s been really good to see a practical application of what I’ve been doing in computer science classes. In class you learn how to use a certain function and you write certain programs that will run in a matter of seconds and then you know what answer you’re looking for. It’s interesting to get some experience working with an actual problem that we want to solve when you don’t necessarily know what the answer is going to look like. Also it’s nice to see how there are all of these different fields that can be helped by applying computer science to it. I’m not a finance student and I didn’t know anything about economics going into this, but it’s been interesting to see the range of applications for the coding we’ve done.
–By Tracy Koenn and Sophie Mucciaccio