Furman unveils high-tech finance lab

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Furman University unveiled a new high-tech finance and business analytics lab on Friday, April 1.

In what appears to be a scene from Wall Street, the Joe and Diana Hurley Finance and Business Analytics Lab includes 600 square feet of space equipped with dual-screen Bloomberg terminals, a stock ticker (both inside and outside the lab), several flat panel displays flanking wood-paneled walls, and large atomic clocks showing times for major trading cities around the globe.

Drawn by the sideways looping ticker, students, parents and other passersby gathered recently outside a class taught by Furman finance professor Tom Smythe.

“It literally felt like we were in a fish bowl,” Smythe said. “We want this to be a showcase for the university, so the lab is already achieving part of what we set out to accomplish.”

By summer, the space will be equipped with seven Bloomberg stations, which serve as conduits for lots of easy-to-use, real-time, big data.

“I brought my Equity Valuation class in here and we watched Fed Chair Janet Yellen give her comments after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. At the same time, we could watch what the markets were doing in response to what she was saying. That’s as real world as you can get,” said Smythe.

Joe Hurley is a 1978 Furman graduate and CEO of Chi-Rho Financial in Atlanta.


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