By Mark Walier
Seton Hall University has been fortunate to draw in professors who possess remarkable expertise, demonstrate exceptional teaching abilities, and have the capability to establish strong connections with students. For those familiar with Professor Hongfei Frank Tang, these three qualities are seamlessly integrated.
Beginning his own higher education journey at the University of Science and Technology of China, Professor Tang achieved a B.S. degree in Applied Chemistry. Soon after, he earned an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of Wisconsin at Madison. However, driven by his passion for finance, Professor Tang decided to redirect his academic path. Pivoting his educational journey, Professor Tang earned his PhD in Finance from Purdue University. Additionally, Tang completed the CFA Level III exam, which is widely considered as the highest designation in the world of finance.
Since then, Tang has spent 15 years teaching a wide suite of finance courses at Seton Hall. These include complex courses such as “Financial Strategy”, “Futures, Options, and Swaps”, and “Financial and Economic Analysis”. While the content of these courses may appear challenging to most students, Professor Tang employs a calculated 3-step teaching approach that enhances his ability to translate complex topics into easily comprehensible concepts.
Prior to teaching the inaugural class, Tang meticulously assesses the course from a “job demand perspective.” He thoughtfully evaluates which information holds the greatest relevance for prospective finance careers, determines which content to give precedence to, and takes into account any recent advancements that may impact traditional course concepts. Tang believes that staying up to date with emerging technologies, such as AI, is essential for ensuring that students are equipped with an education that can be applied effectively in the real world. In fact, to enhance his current knowledge, he is actively pursuing a Data Science for Investment Professionals Certificate focusing on Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing from the CFA Institute.
In the next step of his approach, Professor Tang formulates his courses to systematically cover key course concepts. His objective is to create individual roadmaps of each course that, when combined, form a complete and comprehensive finance education for students. Over his 16 years of teaching in higher education, Professor Tang has refined his skill in course structuring, ensuring that students develop a solid understanding of the subject as they embark upon their broader educational journey.
In his ultimate step, Professor Tang is dedicating considerable effort towards creating an intelligent guidance system for students. College students possess diverse backgrounds and levels of proficiency. Currently, Professor Tang is investigating the viability of offering a more personalized educational journey powered by recent developments in technology. Remaining committed to his dedication to Stillman students, Professor Tang is diligently striving to improve the structure of higher education and offer students a more tailored learning experience.
Along with his teaching excellence, Professor Tang has a multitude of research achievements. Some of his most notable include the “Distinguished Teaching Award”, “The Bright Idea Award”, and “Researcher of the Year”. For finance students looking to take a glimpse into his research, Professor Tang recommends “Solving the Return Deviation Conundrum of Leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds”, which provides a comprehensive introduction to LETFs, and discusses the rapid growth of the LETF space, as well as the unique return inconsistencies of levered ETFs. Additionally, Tang recommends his publication titled, “New Equity Market Sector: Market Responses and Return Comovement”, which dives into the viral growth of the real estate market, its impact on financial markets, and how it affects individual financial decision-making.
It is no secret that the Seton Hall community is incredibly fortunate for Professor Tang’s decision to continue his prestigious career in South Orange. Luckily, the feeling is mutual. Professor Tang has expressed his gratitude for the attentiveness and respectfulness displayed by Seton Hall. He’s been notably impressed by New Jersey’s robust public education system, which allows Seton Hall to attract top-notch local students. Furthermore, the allure of Seton Hall was amplified by its proximity to the global financial hub, New York City.
Professor Tang’s passion for continuous learning and improvement shines through in his endless pursuit to grow as a researcher, educator, and student resource. His 15 years at Seton Hall have demonstrated that he is one-of-a-kind, and the Seton Hall community deeply appreciates his selfless dedication to students, staff, and faculty.
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