04 JAN 2023 ISSUE 17
7. Exchange Sharing

  • LEE, Mei Han (BSc in Risk Management Science)
  • TSE, Sheung Yin (BSc in in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science)
  • ZHANG, Xun (BSc in Statistics)

LEE, Mei Han
BSc in Risk Management Science
University of Waterloo, Canada

During the first half of 2022, I went to Waterloo, Canada, for an exchange programme. I chose the University of Waterloo as my school for a few reasons. First, I had never been to Canada, and I had heard that Canada is a beautiful country with cherry blossoms in spring, water parks in summer, maple trees in autumn, and snow in winter. Moreover, I had heard that people there are rather nice. Second, the University of Waterloo is well known for its mathematics department, and there are many courses related to my major studies, such as risk management, statistics, and finance.

My favourite course was STAT 443 (forecasting), which was about using different models, methods, and theorems to forecast the future using historical data. The assignments, projects, and exams required using both theoretical and practical skills. At first, I found this course difficult because of its sophisticated code in the R programming language, which I was not so familiar with. As the professors were not likely to provide all of the code for every model, students had to write the code themselves, which helped them understand the model thoroughly. Although those tough assignments were time consuming, there was a great sense of accomplishment when I finished them.

For the projects, I was in a group of four, and we had to forecast the future trend of the CAD/USD exchange rate. The most interesting thing was that the four of us were all from different countries. I was amazed at how cosmopolitan Canada was! I could meet people from all around the world. The project was not so hard for us to finish, because we were given a lot of flexibility in modelling the data. Finishing the project helped us understand the theories thoroughly, which allowed us to try and apply them in our daily life. Thus, I experienced the power of statistics first-hand.

I am grateful for the chance I got to explore my surroundings, especially during the pandemic, when the situation was in flux. I have many unforgettable memories from this exchange experience. I had to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about myself and the world outside my hometown.

TSE, Sheung Yin
BSc in in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science
University College Dublin, Ireland

I participated in an overseas exchange programme at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland for the first semester of 2021–22. It was a fruitful learning experience. In that semester, I took modules such as Corporate Financial Management, Time Series Analysis, and Econometrics and Behavioural Economics.

The Corporate Financial Management course was valuable. In the lectures, the professor talked not only about theories but also about real-life corporate examples in Ireland, such as Accenture plc and Medtronic plc, which were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. We discussed how corporate actions, payout policies, proxy voting, debt structures, and so on, vary between corporates in different nations. The Irish Stock Exchange plc, trading as Euronext Dublin, became increasingly important in Europe after Brexit. As market capitalisation is increasing, Dublin is replacing London as the next international financial services hub. It was an insightful experience to be instructed by experts in Dublin about the policies of the second-most important stock exchange in the European Union. At the end of the course, six of us from different countries formed a group to do a project. We needed to pitch a stock and analyse its funding structure. We picked Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited as our research interest. It was a good chance to share my knowledge of this Asian technology company with students from all over the world.

Time series analysis and econometrics were also exciting modules. Despite the online teaching mode, the passion of the professor was evident. I appreciated how the UCD Science School emphasised the use of statistical tools such as R. There were computer-aided laboratory sessions every week to guide us through practical examples of how to do forecasting, decomposition, and fitting of various models in the areas of time series, linear regression, and macro forecasting. The professional skills I have developed would be very useful, not only for my university studies but also for my career journey ahead.

Speaking of data tools, I was amazed by how passionate students in Ireland are about data science. There is even a society for data science called DataSoc in UCD, which I joined. I attended their data science tutorials and listened to talks delivered by local data science professionals working in different areas, such as banking and finance, scientific research, and education. I even participated in a hackathon. These experiences took my knowledge and skills about big data, statistics, and coding to the next level.

To conclude, it has been an amazing opportunity to share what I learned in Hong Kong with people from all over the world. Students in Ireland are much more proactive than Hong Kong students. They are not afraid to ask questions. Ireland is an atmospheric and stress-free place in which to study. It has been an eye-opening experience, and I am glad that I decided to participate in this exchange programme.

BSc in Statistics
McGill University, Canada

It was my pleasure to participate in the university-wide exchange programme and study at McGill University for the second term of 2021/22. I believe that this valuable experience will benefit me for the rest of my life.

McGill University is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1821, it has a history of more than 200 years. Attracted by the strong academic environment of McGill University and the beautiful surroundings and unique culture of Montreal, I chose McGill University as my first preference.

I registered for four courses during my exchange term at McGill: MATH240: Discrete Structure, MATH324: Statistics, MATH545: Time Series, and MATH523: Generalized Linear Models. As they were final year courses, MATH45 and MATH23 were much more difficult, but I have benefitted a lot from them. It was a unique experience as a “flipped classroom” teaching method was used in the courses. Students watch online lectures at home and discuss problems or work on exercises in the classroom under the guidance of professors, which makes the learning process more flexible and greatly improves student participation.

I tried many new things in Montreal. I learned to skate on the frozen river, tasted delicious brunches in the old city, walked along the old port to relax, and climbed Mount Royal to watch the sunset. In early March, my friends and I went to Toronto and visited the Niagara Falls. I cannot forget the fantastic night view from the top of the CN Tower and the spectacular scenery of the Niagara Falls. I made good friends from around the world during the exchange visit, which made the journey more meaningful.

Before I came to Montreal, I had never thought that I could live and study independently in a foreign country. But I did it! I think my most valuable gains from the exchange visit are confidence and broadened horizons. I now realise that it is never too late to step outside and explore the world.

Back to Issue
Table of Contents
1. Message from the Chair
2. Staff Movement
3. Prizes and Awards

Staff Awards
Student Awards
Alumni Awards
Recipients of Department of Statistics Scholarships and Sponsorship
4. Departmental Activities

Ming Pao Education Expo 2022
MSc Annual Dinner
The Virtual Symposium on Statistics and Risk Management 2021
5. Sharing from Awardees of Overseas Research Award for PhD Students
6. Global Young Scientists Summit 2022
7. Exchange Sharing
8. Department Summer Internship Programme
9. Internship Sharing

Past Issue