General Information

Instructor and Scheduled Lectures

Instructor Seema Nanda
Lecture MWF 12:50 - 1:55
X-hour T 1:20 - 2:10
Classroom Kemeny 004
Email seema.nanda AT
Office Hours M 2:30 - 4:00 pm
AND by appointment
Office hours of Oct 9 changed to Oct 10 2:30-4:00 pm
Office Kemeny 333


There is no assigned textbook for this class. However there are several good books that cover the topics discussed in this class.

  • J.C. Hull, Options, futures and other derivatives, any edition, Prentice Hall. A useful book to understand the nitty gritty of the workings of financial instruments and trading. Currently in its 9th edition. Hull 8th edition
  • Steven S. Shreve, Stochastic Calculus for Finance I: The Binomial Asset Pricing Model, B(Springer 2004). Largely a focus on mathematical methods with little emphasis on the financial markets . Stochastic Calculus for Finance I
  • P. Wilmott, S. Howison, and J. Dewynne, The mathematics of financial derivatives - a student introduction, Cambridge University Press (1995). This book emphasies the role of PDEs and underplays the role of probability. The Mathematics of Financial Derivatives
  • Mark S. Joshi, The Concepts and Practice of Mathematical Finance , (Cambridge University Press). A book that spans an intuitive approach and mathematical content of the subject. Written by a practitioner in a mathematical framework. The Concepts and Practice of Mathematical Finance

Prerequisites: MATH 20 and MATH 40, OR MATH 60; MATH 23; and COSC 1; or Equivalent coursework in other majors. If in doubt, please see the instructor.
Programming knowledge is useful. In particular you will need to learn Excel (the bread and butter of the financial industry), if you do not already know it.


There will be an in class final exam on November 14, 2017. Time and location TBA.

If you have a conflict with the exam because of a religious observance, scheduled extracurricular activity such as a game or performance (not practice!), scheduled laboratory for another course, or similar commitment, please see your instructor at least one week in advance so possible alternative arrangements can be pursued.

All students must take the final at the scheduled time, unless they are scheduled by the registrar to have two conflicting examinations or three examinations on a single calendar day. In particular, no final will be given early or late to accommodate student travel plans. If you make travel plans that later turn out to conflict with the scheduled exam, then it is your responsibility to either reschedule your travel plans or take a zero in the final.

If you have a question about how your exam was graded, you can ask your instructor; to have your exam regraded, please submit your question in writing to your instructor.

Homework Policy 

  • Read upcoming material at the beginning of each week.
  • Written homework will be assigned regularly and posted on the homework page. It will be due in class, one week from the date of assignment. Expect to see 6 to 7 homework assignments during the quarter. Homework will typically be on the material covered upto the date the HW is handed out. The first written assignment (available on the homework page) is due on Wednesday of week 2.
  • In written homework (and on exams), be sure to show your work, explain all steps, and write neatly. This class is all about the reasoning and not just about a correct answer. No work shown or work that cannot be read, will receive minimal credit. HW is good practice for what will be expected on the final exam.
  • On the Downloads page you will find a FERPA waiver; please sign it and return it with your first homework. If you choose to sign the waiver portion, you will be able to collect your homework from the boxes in the hallway of Kemeny Hall. If you decline to sign the waiver portion, you can collect your homework from your instructor's office by showing your Dartmouth ID.
  • If you have a question about how homework was graded, you can ask your instructor; to have it regraded, please submit your question in writing to your instructor.
  • No late homework will be accepted.

The Academic Honor Principle

Academic integrity is at the core of our mission as mathematicians and educators, and we take it very seriously. We also believe in working and learning together.

Cooperation on homework is permitted and encouraged, but if you work together, try not to take any paper away with you—in other words, you can share your thoughts (say on a blackboard), but try to walk away with only your understanding. In particular, you must write the solution individually, in your own words. This applies to working with tutors as well: students are welcome to take notes when working with tutors on general principles and techniques and on other example problems, but must work on the assigned homework problems on their own. Please acknowledge any collaborators that you worked with, in the first page of your assignment.

On exams, you may not give or receive help from anyone. Exams in this course are closed book, and no notes, calculators, or other electronic devices are permitted.

Plagiarism, collusion, or other violations of the Academic Honor Principle will be referred to the Committee on Standards.


Other Outside Help

  • Office Hours: Please feel free to meet with me during office hours (or by appointment) with questions regarding homework problems or any other aspect of the course.
  • Peer Tutoring: The Tutor Clearinghouse of the Academic Skills Center provides one-on-one peer tutoring. Tutors are recruited, having done well in the subject, and are trained by the Academic Skills Center. If a student receives financial aid, the College will pay for three hours of tutoring per week. If you would like to have a tutor, please go to 301 Collis and fill out an application as early in the term as possible.


The course grade will be based upon the homework scores and on the final exam as follows:

Written homework 65%
Final Exam 35%

Other Considerations

Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that occur during this academic term. If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with your instructor before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Students with disabilities who may need disability-related academic adjustments and services for this course are encouraged to see their instructor privately as early in the term as possible. Students requiring disability-related academic adjustments and services must consult the Student Accessibility Services office (205 Collis Student Center, 646-9900, Once SAS has authorized services, students must show the originally signed SAS Services and Consent Form and/or a letter on SAS letterhead to their professor. As a first step, if students have questions about whether they qualify to receive academic adjustments and services, they should contact the SAS office. All inquiries and discussions will remain confidential.