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Students sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture.

ICFD seeks to become a global source for scholarship, collaboration, quality education and cutting-edge, innovative research on futures, derivatives and financial markets.

Established through a gift from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trust, the International Center on Futures and Derivatives seeks to: 

  • Foster research and innovation in futures and derivatives.
  • Leverage existing connections between UIC, China and the financial exchanges in Chicago.
  • Promote understanding of derivatives and futures in risk management and economic growth.
  • Attract and prepare students for careers in futures and derivatives.

Education and Conferences


ICFD works together with the Department of Finance to offer both undergraduate and graduate courses in topics related to futures, derivatives and international finance.

Market Microstructure and Electronic Trading 
This course cover details of how financial markets work. Market structures; models of price discovery; limit order models; liquidity and price impact; time effects; and, how electronic traders use these ideas to improve trading and research.

Commodities and Related Markets 
This popular class covers markets; physicality; laws and regulations; market participants; fundamentals (ags, metals, petroleum, electricity, emissions, and shipping); spreads; options; and, risk management.

Chicago Exchanges
Guest speakers talk about trends in the Chicago exchanges. Previous speakers have included: Jim Oliff, Managing Director, Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Melanie Rubino, Director of Education, Wolverine Trading; Erika Olson, author: Zero Sum Game; Ed Tilly, Exec Vice Chairman, Chicago Board Options Exchange; Ed Provost, Exec VP, CBOE; Eric Fraight, Vice President, CBOE; Emily Lambert, author: The Rise of the Speculator; James McNulty, Board of Directors, NYSE; and Jeffrey Sprecher, Chairman and CEO, The Intercontinental Exchange.


ICFD hosts or sponsors conference in Chicago and across the globe to bolster knowledge of international finance for students, academics and practitioners.

Since 2009, ICFD has sponsored the yearly R/finance conference, for applied finance using R, the premier free software system for statistical computation and graphics, which is held each spring at UIC.

Other conferences ICFD have supported are:

  • Co-sponsored the 2012 International Symposium on Financial Engineering and Risk Management (FERM), June, 2012, Hunan University, China
  • Co-sponsored the CQA event after the 2012 ASSA Reception
  • Sponsored four Finance and Investment group officers to attend the RISE conference
  • Co-sponsored Faculty at the 2010 International Symposium on Financial Engineering and Risk Management (FERM) in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Co-sponsored the 2008 International Symposium on Financial Engineering and Risk Management, in Shanghai, China
  • Co-sponsored the 2007 International Symposium on Financial Engineering and Risk Management that was held June 11-12, 2007 in Beijing, China

Quantitative Finance on Fridays

Quantitative Finance on Fridays is a seminar series bridging the academic and professional finance communities. The series draws leading scholars and practitioners from across the financial sector to share their ideas and insight on important current issues. The series is sponsored by the International Center for Futures and Derivatives and the Stefanovich Center at University of Chicago and is held in the Executive Conference Center of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Four gentlemen in suits in conversation.

QFF Speakers

Peter Carr, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley with 15 years of experience in the derivatives industry
Frank Diebold, Professor of Finance and Statistics, and Co-Director of the Financial Institutions Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently President of the Society for Financial Econometrics
Olivier Scaillet, a Professor of Finance & Statistics at the Geneva Finance Institute at Universite de Geneve
Pierre-Louis Lions, College de France and Ecole Polytechnique
Andrei Kirilenko, Chief Economist with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Albert S. Kyle, Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
Attilio Meucci, " Chief risk officer at Kepos Capital LP. Concurrently, adjunct professor at the Master's in Financial Engineering Baruch College CUNY
Dr. Paul Embrechts, Professor of Mathematics at ETH, Zurich
Yacine At-Sahalia, The Otto A. Hack Professor of Finance and Economics at Princeton University
Maureen O'Hara, the Robert W. Purcell Professor of Finance at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
Ravi Jagannathan, Chicago Mercantile Exchange/John F. Sandner Distinguished Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Managements, Northwestern University
George M. Constantinides, Leo Melamed Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Lars Hansen, Homer J. Livingston Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago
John Campbell, Department of Economics at Harvard University
Eric Ghysels, Edward M. Bernstein distinguished professor of economics at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and professor of finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School
Robert Engle, 2003 Nobel Laureate, professor of finance, Michael Armellino Professorship in the management of Financial Services Affiliated Faculty of the Stern School of Business at New York University
John Cochrane, Myron S. Scholes professor of finance at the University of Chicago
William Goetzmann, Edwin J. Beinecke professor of finance and management studies, director of the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management
Richard Thaler, Robert P. Gwinn professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, University of Chicago; "Nudge".
Kenneth Singleton, Adams Distinguished professor of management, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs
Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan.
Andrew Lo, Harris and Harris Group professor at MIT, director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering.

Contact Us

Gilbert W. Bassett

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics and Finance
Director, International Center for Futures and Derivatives
Phone: (312) 996-5777

Holly Griffin

Director of Planning & Special Events
International Center for Future and Derivatives
Phone: (312)996-2622

ICFD Mailing Address

601 S. Morgan MC 075
Room 2123 University Hall
Chicago, IL 60607