Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, March 11, 2002


Master's in Financial Engineering Program to Hold First Commencement Saturday
Taiwan's Acer Group CEO to Speak at Haas on March 22
3Com and Palm Chairman to Speak on IT at Haas Friday
Haas Undergraduates Win National Business Consulting Challenge
Power Restored to the Haas School After Power Outage
MBA Student Survey Responses Due March 15
Clausen Center Announces New Fellowships
Finalists to Present in Cisco and Deloitte E-Business Case Competition
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

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The Master's in Financial Engineering Program at the Haas School of Business celebrates a milestone this Saturday with the graduation of its first class of students. Nobel laureate Robert C. Merton will give the commencement address to the 46 graduating MFE students at 10 a.m. on March 16, in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium. This event is open to MFE students and faculty and their guests.

Robert C. Merton, the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at the Harvard Business School, received the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1997. He is credited with changing the nature of financial markets around the world with his work on evaluating risk associated with derivatives, financial instruments such as a stock option that are connected to a stock. In 1993, Merton received the first Financial Engineer of the Year Award from the International Association of Financial Engineers, which elected him a Senior Fellow the following year. Merton holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and served on the finance faculty of MIT's Sloan School of Management until 1988, when he moved to Harvard.

The one-year Haas School MFE Program, launched in 2001, prepares its graduates for a growing niche of quantitative finance careers. Its leading-edge curriculum balances teaching the latest financial theory with practical applications of financial modeling concepts. A new class of 60 students will begin studies in April.

The inaugural graduating class represents 19 countries, with 18% of the new MFE graduates already possessing a Ph.D. and 25% holding a master's degree in another field. One fourth of the class performed in the top percentile of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

"The MFE program gave me exactly the right tools to refocus my career and land the type of job I wanted," says Benjamin (Yu) Meng, president of the MFE class. "It has been a great experience to learn from the Haas faculty and work with my MFE colleagues."

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Stan Shih, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of the Acer Group, Asia's premier PC maker and one of the world's top ten manufacturers, will speak on "The Future of Innovations in Asia" on Friday, March 22, in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Shih is the first speaker in the Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public.

Described as a pioneer and innovator, and founder of Taiwan's first high-tech brand, Shih is one of Asia's top entrepreneurs and high-technology leaders. He has based Acer's corporate culture on four major pillars: human nature is basically good; the customer is No. 1; use knowledge to work for the company; and practice pragmatism and accountability at all times.

Shih has been called "one of Taiwan's most influential businessmen," by Singapore's Business Times. He has shown repeated perseverance and stamina, consistently bouncing back in slow economic times. In 1999, the Academy of International Business named him "The International Business Executive of the Year."

The Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Fellowship was created to honor the former chancellor of UC Berkeley and NEC Distinguished Professor of Engineering, and to strengthen understanding between Asia and the US by bringing key leaders in business, government, and academia from Asia to foster dialogue that will further US-Asia relations.

This event is sponsored by The Asia Foundation, the College of Engineering, and the Haas School. For more information contact Richard Beer at beer@haas.berlekley.edu.

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Remember to reserve your seat for the next Haas School Business Faculty Research Dialogue lecture to hear Eric Benhamou, the chairman of the board of 3Com Corporation and Palm, Inc., speak Friday, March 15, at 4 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium. The topic of the research dialogue series this year is "Adding Value with Information Technology."

To attend, please e-mail rsrchdia@haas.berkeley.edu. A reception will follow in the BankAmerica Forum.

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A team made up of entirely Haas School undergraduate business students walked away with top honors at the Andersen National Business Consulting Challenge Competition in St. Charles, Illinois in late February. For their first-place effort, the team received a cash prize of $5,000 and a $20,000 scholarship for the Haas undergraduate program from Andersen. The team members are Tara Kramlich, Sandy Lee, Michael Mashintchian, Patrick Stodel, and Hadi Tan.

Each year, the Andersen National Business Consulting Challenge Competition begins at the regional level with 144 teams and 576 students from 15 leading universities. The second-place prize was awarded to the University of Illinois team and third place was awarded to the Georgia Tech team.

For more information on the competition, see http://www.andersen.com/BusinessConsultingChallenge.

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The Haas School was closed and all classes were canceled last Thursday evening and all day Friday, due to a campus-wide electrical power outage. The outage began around 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, leaving the building complex darkened, except for emergency lights, and all the computer servers shut down.

The power failure is believed to have been caused by water intrusion into an underground switching station near the Haas School on the east side of the UC Berkeley campus. The station suffered a major failure that in turn caused a failure in the main power supply to the campus.

Power was restored to the Haas School at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and most computer services were back shortly after 3 p.m. Please report any continuing computer problems to Haas Computing Services at http://helpdesk.haas.berkeley.edu or 510-642-0434.

For more information on the outage, please visit http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2002/03/08_outupd.html.

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The deadline is fast approaching for the MBA student survey, which provides vital feedback to the Haas School administration. The survey submission deadline is March 15, 2002. The survey can be found at http://haas.berkeley.edu/survey/mba/mbasurvey.htm. If you have questions or trouble with the survey, please contact Kim Huynh at huynh@haas.berkeley.edu.

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The Clausen Center for International Business and Policy has created the Clausen Fellowships to support undergraduate and MBA students who show a commitment to the field of international business.

The center, named for Tom Clausen, former chairman and CEO of Bank of America and former president of the World Bank, aims to promote international opportunities at Haas by supporting a variety of activities and programs in global management.

The fellowships will be awarded annually to undergraduate and MBA students who have shown an outstanding commitment to the field of international business. To be eligible, undergraduates must apply during their junior year and MBA students during their first year. Applications are due April 15, 2002. For complete details see http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/HaasGlobal/clausenfellows.htm.

The Asia Business Conference, the Clausen Center Debate (April 26, 2002) and the International Business Development Program are some of the activities supported by the Clausen Center. For further details on the Clausen Center see: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/HaasGlobal/.

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A select group of undergraduate business students will be presenting their solutions to executives from Cisco Systems and Deloitte Consulting on Tuesday, March 19 in the third annual E-Business Case Competition at Haas. The competition will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium and will be followed by a reception.

All of the teams were asked to create a strategy for Cisco to penetrate new small- to medium-sized markets with new and existing Cisco networking products and this strategy would be implemented using the Internet. A complete description of the case can be found at http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/undergrad/ebusiness.html.

Cisco Systems, Deloitte Consulting, the Schlinger Family Foundation, and the Haas undergraduate program sponsor the competition. It is co-sponsored by Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi.

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Kenneth Rosen, the California State Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics and chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, was quoted in Business Week on March 11 in the article, "The Homes Keep Selling." Rosen commented that a lot of people are taking advantage of low interest rates to buy real estate.

The Haas School was featured in Canal1.net: Cable & Wireless Panama in an article titled "La Educación de Alta Gerencia al Servicio de la Empresa." The article was written by Laura Flores, a Haas School alumna.

Brett Trueman, the Donald and Ruth Seiler Professor of Public Accounting and chair of the Haas Accounting Group, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 3 in an article titled "Numbers Game; Murky Accounting Confounds Analysts and Spooks Investors." He said that the market was so frothy that investors didn't bother to worry about the financial statements.

Cynthia Kroll, regional economist at the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 8 in an article titled "Housing affordability drops across California." She said that if California continues to participate in the recovery, she wouldn't expect affordability to get much better.

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