RPI To Host Financial Technologies Event on March 30

Financial crime, blockchain, risk, and more to be addressed by university and industry leaders

March 16, 2023


While bank collapses, FTX’s demise, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal proceedings are making headlines, top fintech researchers and financial services industry leaders will gather at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to examine such issues as financial crime, blockchain interoperability, and risk.

The Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT), a partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stevens Institute of Technology, will host a public Industry Advisory Board Meeting at the Rensselaer Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies on Thursday, March 30, 2023. CRAFT is supported by the first-ever National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create an industry-university cooperative research center devoted specifically to financial technology and science. Leaders will hear presentations from researchers seeking funding for projects and, on the following day, the board will vote in a private meeting.

“There is no doubt that financial crime and vulnerabilities are on everyone’s minds because of FTX and recent bank failures,” said Aparna Gupta, professor in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer and co-director and site director of CRAFT. “Meanwhile, CRAFT researchers are working behind the scenes to address issues that avoid such outcomes in the future.”

Keynote speakers at the meeting include Jeff Stewart, cofounder and managing director of the Global Public Offering Fund, and Rick Hoehne, senior partner and leader of the Fraud and Financial Crime Center of Competency, Data & Technology Transformation at IBM. Stewart will present on “Fintech Venture Capital and the Start-Up Ecosystem” and Hoehne will address “Fraud and Anomalies Detection in Financial Services.”

Enhancing security, mitigating risk, preserving privacy and fairness, and making financial predictions are popular goals to be presented by researchers. Artificial intelligence is the common tool.

“CRAFT researchers often use artificial intelligence to analyze and synthesize vast amounts of data to make predictions,” said Steve Yang, CRAFT director and associate professor at Stevens. “Whether they are exploring blockchain interoperability, investor behavior, or even fintech-related discussions on social media, they use AI methods such as machine learning, reinforcement learning, and natural language processing.”

The meeting is not only a funding opportunity for researchers, but a training and educational opportunity for participants and students.

“Hosting this CRAFT meeting will give Rensselaer students a wonderful opportunity to learn about this thriving field and how their interests can be applied,” said Rensselaer Acting Provost Mary Simoni. “We also have students participating in the research, allowing them to help make important advancements alongside faculty members.”

“We invite those working in fintech in the Capital Region and beyond to join us for this meeting, learn more about CRAFT, and join the 18 global financial services organizations that have pledged their support,” said George Calhoun, CRAFT managing director, and director of the Quantitative Finance Program and the Hanlon Financial Systems Center at Stevens. “We also welcome the opportunity to partner with other universities.”

“CRAFT is shaping the future of the fintech industry by advancing explainable AI, decentralized finance, and quantum computing,” said Chanaka Edirisinghe, acting dean of Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management. “It is a dynamic field with great opportunity and it leverages the strengths of Rensselaer’s faculty and students.”

Written By Katie Malatino
Back to top