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Faculty Spotlight: Meet Ritabrata “Rito” Bhattacharyya

Photo of faculty Rito Bhattacharyya

Prior to joining the team of WorldQuant University (WQU) instructors, Rito was a global hedge fund consultant and part-time entrepreneur focused on developing quantitative alpha generative trading systems. It was his strong interest in shaping young minds that brought him to the world of teaching, particularly in the wake of larger changes in the investment market place.

Over the course of his career, Rito has seen a shift in the higher education industry as the volume of financial data has increased. Rapid advances in cloud computing have made storing and managing vast amounts of data more accessible and affordable. As artificial intelligence and data science have evolved in the past years, there are now huge opportunities to create new models from the abundance of “data soup” that exists in the market. It’s these applications that Rito most looks forward to exploring with students in his Capstone project course.

Rito’s piece of advice for students is to remember to be realistic when thinking about the fields of study they want to pursue. “Many students want to study quantitative engineering to build complex models that would pave a quick way to make money from the markets,” said Rito. “I just want to remind students that sometimes the shiny toy may not always be the best. Quant finance is exciting, but it will require massive efforts to be successful in generating long term consistent return from the financial markets.”

Maintaining high academic standards to ensure all students receive a quality education has been a fascinating and rewarding journey for Rito. He gets most excited thinking about engaging with diverse young minds and fresh ideas and says he learns more by interacting with his global student base than from teaching itself. It’s one of the reasons that he continues to teach at WQU and plans to do so in the future.

As one of its original faculty members, Rito remembers when the University was just an idea on the back of a napkin. He is amazed at how in just a few short years, WQU has grown into a fully accredited institution with students and faculty from around the globe — all while remaining entirely free.

If Rito were not teaching financial engineering, you would find him reclining with a good book and a cup of black coffee. He hopes to do this more often in the not-too-distant future.

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