An Academic Path
Visiting Assistant Professor, UC-Santa Barbara
Discovering a love of research led Tao Chen to a Ph.D. in applied mathematics and a career in academia.Tao Chen (MMF ’12/Ph.D. AMAT ’16)
Tao Chen was attracted to Illinois Tech for its Chicago location and drawn to the city for its position as a financial center. Another reason for his decision to attend Illinois Tech: renowned professors with both academic and industry backgrounds, including his Master of Mathematical Finance professors Tomasz Bielecki and Igor Cialenco.
Chen was a quantitative risk research intern on the Risk Management Team of CME Group, working with its clearinghouse team.
He advises MMF students to do well in their courses to improve their chances of getting internships and jobs. He stresses the value of good programming skills to increase their likeliness of finding a job.
After completing his MMF and internship in 2012, Chen pursued a doctoral degree in applied mathematics at Illinois Tech. He chose to do so because, as he did more and more research, he liked it even more.
"I think the most important thing is to work as hard as you can," he says. "Try to do different things. Don’t just concentrate on one thing in research. If you want to find a job in academia, go to many conferences and meet many people."