Traders at Berkeley

Introduction to Quantitative Finance

IEOR 198: Thursdays 6-8pm @ Latimer 120


Peter Zhang

Neeraj Rattehalli

Sandeep Mukherjee

Aaron Janse

Anish Muthali

Chiraag Balu

Course Description

Quantitative Finance has a high barrier of entry with expertise in quantitative subjects required for a career. We hope to bridge the gap between industry expectations and the student’s possible career choices by exposing them to a basic understanding of quantitative finance. Through units in economics, machine learning, and quantitative investing, students will learn the necessary skills to be familiarized with the industry, and we hope that this is an opportunity for students to develop their own quantitative intuition about the market.

This DeCal was previously known as STAT 198 and CS 198-134.

Fall 2023

Decisions have been released. If you don't see an email, message decal [at]

Lectures are Thursdays 6pm - 8pm at Latimer 120. The first lecture will be 9/7 and is open to all. Subsequent lectures will be open to enrolled and auditing students only.

Fall 2023 Syllabus

Fall 2023 Lecture Notes

Fall 2023 Content is Subject to Change.

Communication will be done primarily through Ed, contact staff there!


Slides are only available for UC Berkeley students and staff using a account. Guest lecture slides are generally not made available.

Date Lecture Homework Lecturers Resources
9/7 Introduction to Quantitative Finance (open to public) DeCal Application Peter Zhang Slides
9/14 What is Fair? Homework 1 (Now due 9/23 11:59pm) Options Reading Peter Zhang Slides
9/21 Markets and Risk Homework 2 (due 9/27 11:59pm) Voleon Lecture Interest/Availability Form: due 9/23 11:59pm Peter Zhang Slides
9/28 Execution Strategies Voleon Lecture 9/27 from 8-10PM at Dwinelle 88! Peter Zhang Slides
10/5 Execution Strategies + Citadel Guest TBD Citadel Securities, Peter Zhang Slides
10/12 Discovering Trade Ideas Lab 1 (due 10/18 11:59pm) Chiraag Balu Slides
10/19 Statistical Arbitrage TBD Sandeep Mukherjee Slides
10/27 Algorithm Optimization TBD Anish Muthali Slides
11/2 Trading Technology TBD Aaron Janse Slides
11/9 Guest Lecture: Head of Trading at Optiver TBD John Zhu
11/16 Optimization and Latency in Execution TBD Aaron Janse
11/23 Thanksgiving TBD TBD


We require a strong interest in learning about Finance and Technology and basic coding ability in Python at or above the level of CS61A and.


The course will start by covering important ideas and intuitions for successful quantitative trading. This will lead into techniques for discovering trading strategies, and quantifying them. Finally, students will be guided through writing their own trading execution engine.

Desired Outcome

By the end of the term, students who have successfully completed Introduction to Quantitative Finance will be able to:

  1. Understand vital discretionary trading intuitions
  2. Navigate the modeling problems in quantitative finance
  3. Build systematic trading software

Methods of Instruction

The course will meet once a week for two hours. One hour of office hours will be available to assist students' understanding of the material. The class time will be roughly half lecture, half hands on assignments and activities - so be sure to attend!


This course will be graded on attendance, participation, weekly assignments, and a final project.

Participation and Attendance: 40%

Students will have one excused absence for the semester. Attendance is extremely important to understand the course material and to stay on track. Every unexcused absence will result in a 10% reduction in the final grade.

Weekly assignments: 30%

There will be weekly assignments to test on practical applications of the course material for each week. Assignments will be a mix of content quizzes and applications of classroom concepts in Jupyter Notebooks.

Assignments will be assigned during each class, and due the following week (Thursday) on Gradescope. Students will receive feedback on their assignments by Sunday midnight.

Coding Project: 30%

This will be a cumulative final project that the student will work on for the entire semester. It will test students' knowledge and understanding by applying the course material to a real-live trading environment.

Pass/No Pass

In order to pass the course, you need at least 70%.


This course will be graded on attendance, participation, weekly assignments, and a final project.

Late Assignments

Assignments are due in class with a 50% penalty per day until the score reaches 0%.

Academic Dishonesty

Students must cite any external sources used in their work. Failure to do so will be considered academic dishonesty.

Sponsoring Professor

Thank you Professor Mastrolia from IEOR for sponsoring us! For questions about the course, please do not contact the sponsoring professor. Instead, email decal [at]

Thibaut Mastrolia

mastrolia [at]