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This class was fine. The title is somewhat misleading - you don't really learn a whole lot about "Computational Methods" and there is barely any "Data Analysis". There's a nominal coding component in R, and weekly lab lectures where the TAs teach some stuff about R, but it's very basic stuff, and you can get through all the coding homework parts by following the TA example code. I was somewhat disappointed that with a name like "Computational Finance and Data Analysis for Financial Engineering", there were few useful skills that I learned (ARMA and ARCH models notwithstanding).
Liao isn't the most engaging lecturer, and he can be a little hard to understand at times, but at least his slides were good. The first half of the class is a review of basic concepts in finance and probability. I haven't taken 106F, but some of my classmates said it was all review from that class. The second half covers time series concepts and models, including conditional volatility (ARCH/GARCH), with a final section on portfolio theory which I found interesting. The time series and conditional volatility models are the most useful part of the class for real-world skills, but I took Econ 144 with Rojas in the same quarter, and the time series concepts in this class paled in comparison to the shitshow that was Rojas. The second half of this class would actually be a good preparation for Econ 144.
The tests were much more difficult than the homework (which was not a good preparation). Make sure you have probability and statistics from Econ 41 squarely down, as this class relies on that a lot. Both the midterm and the final allowed "cheat sheets", which were very helpful (if you take the time to prepare them right). Overall, the class wasn't that difficult, and it's a fine choice if you're interested in econometrics electives.
Professor read off slides that were so hard to understand because he didn't explain the notations unless you ask him. I could've put more effort into this class but I was juggling two mgmt classes at the same time so my grade suffered. if you're not a mathy person this might be hard for you. I found econ 11 to be easier but that's also cuz I had a great professor too. shoutout to surro :p
Liao was actually a surprisingly good professor. The quarter I had to take Econ 41 I didn't have the option to go with Rojas that I wanted, so I was nervous about taking Liao since he had no reviews and I heard his accent is pretty tough.
Nevertheless, the class is incredibly straightforward. All lecture notes are posted online and he merely goes into them in more detail in class which is very helpful since you can study things you may not have understood in class at home and clarify things in his online notes during lecture. The midterm was very easy and covered only up to basic probability concepts such as independence and conditional probabilities. It's made super easy and I, like a lot of people, was able to get 100 on it. He also provides a significant time gap between the midterm and the last content covered on it. So you have a good 2 weeks to study for the midterm which was very generous.
Our class was a bit behind so he did end up rushing a bit at the end when we got to actual hypothesis testing and he was barely able to finish the last lecture materials on the very last day of class. Things really do pickup very quickly after the midterm. This makes it a bit hard, especially because you likely fall behind at least a bit while studying for the midterm itself but it's doable as long as you have a good TA (Alec was great during my quarter) and try not fall too behind.
The final, like the other guy said, was definitely hard. it was more than twice the length of the midterm in less than twice the time (30 questions on midterm, 80 on final). On the other hand, no you don't need a tutor as long as you can... you know... study? The content on the final is definitely harder than the midterm. DO NOT solely rely on his practice questions to study for the final!! While that's a good strategy for the midterm, it will NOT help you for the final as the content is much more difficult and is meant to put you in a huge time crunch. That being said, he told us he didn't expect anyone to finish the exam (nobody did) and thus you should take your time, do the easiest first, and try to be as accurate as possible before just bubbling randomly in the last minute or two. I studied as many textbook, practice problems (TA and prof), and past exams from other classes as I could to be familiar with any type of problem he could throw and ended up getting one of the highest scores. The final is curved VERY generously though so don't worry. Average score was about a 50% i think
Overall, surprisingly good professor. Definitely a nice guy who does care. His accent can be rough at times but honestly he explains things pretty well regardless.
Idk, this class just has the midterm and final and that's it. The midterm was easy compared to the final, the avg was like a 78%, while the final average was like a 60%. The entire class grade is based on ranking and only 25% of the class gets A- or better which is kinda tuff. Just be prepared to put in the work the week leading up to his tests and you'll be fine. At least he has a sense of humor at times!
I took this class after Econ 144 with Rojas, and there is a lot of overlap. Professor Liao's class has a more theoretical approach, requiring you to prove certain properties of processes. The R coding is minimal, and most of the code is given to you already. The workload is low, with four lab assignments (very little work) and five homework assignments. The homework is short and the questions follow directly from lecture notes, so they aren't too bad. The grade makeup is 50% Final, 30% Midterm, and 20% Homework. The professor offers two different grading methods to determine your final grade, either based on your raw score (>=85 is an A) or ranking in the class (top 20% is an A). The exams aren't easy, but they are fair and take a few questions directly from the homework. He also allows a double-sided page of notes during the exams. During lectures, he annotates the slides with his iPad, which can cause a lot of clutter. These are usually just further explanations, so remember that the essentials are typed on the original slide. Professor Liao is very nice, and I would take another class with him again.
The first half of this course was really hard looking back. THe first half was basically just focusing on returns and statistics, stuff you would learn in econ 41 and 103 but the midterm really drills you hard on how much you can remember from 41 and 103. You need to be really good at statistics in order to do well but this class is also related to 104 and 144 since the second half gets into the higher level statistical models and their properties. The final wasn't bad, it's what you would see based on your homework and final practice tests he gives as well as stuff from the actual midterm. The homework and lab assignments are doable and are the bulk of your grade. He's very responsive to emails and helpful (I never went to office hours, had a time conflict). The curve is also generous so even if you feel like you're doing bad (like I did cause I thought I bombed my midterm), chances are most people in the class felt that way and the curve does account your performance in comparison to others. So if you want to take this class, you should take it if you want to learn more about econometrics and data science, especially if you want a focus in financial markets
his midterm was hella easy, got 30/30. Midterm was exactly like the practice midterm he gave with different number, but the problem comes when you take final. I just studied practice study guide for final as his midterm was just like the practice guide, and he also stated that the practice guide will be the good study guide for final exam but NO. His final exam was 10000x harder than the practice guide with so many advanced questions. well... good thing that he curves the grade but if you dont study with tutor which cost 50$/hour, dont expect to get 70+ in his final exam. GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUCKIN FUJN
Liao was an incredibly frustrating professor. I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about, but his midterm is 100x harder than the practice midterm, as is the final from the practice final. This quarter he gave us the final from the previous quarter, which is a slightly better indicator of the difficulty of the exam but overall not helpful. He's one of those professors who teaches you problems one way and then expects you to know how to do them a different way that you never even covered in class.
He has an accent, but if you're used to hearing accented English, it shouldn't be a problem. He basically rewrites his online lecture notes verbatim on the board during lecture with maybe a few extra example problems thrown in. The homework problems are absolutely no indicator of the difficulty of the exam questions, even the "starred" ones.
I think part of the problem for me is that he doesn't teach the class with an aim towards what you "need to know," if that makes sense. He just gives you everything and it's up to you to pick out the formulas and such that are important. He also gives you no context for what you're actually trying to do. I took AP Stats in high school, and my professor would teach the class in terms of 'population' and 'sample,' so you kind of knew the difference between things intuitively. Liao doesn't even really use those terms.
Basically, if you can avoid taking him, do. If not, I would recommend trying to find a tutor or some sort of supplemental help.