About Computing and Financial Management

Computing and Financial Management (CFM) is the only undergraduate program of its kind in Canada that offers a specialized degree with two majors in computer science and finance. Combined with real-life work experience offered through cooperative education, CFM prepares students to work in the technology, finance or financial technology industry (FinTech).
 
Started in 2006, CFM is a relatively new program at the University of Waterloo with just over 130 graduates from 2011 and beyond. Learn how the CFM program came to be and the success its students and graduates have delivered since its inception with a recap on our history.

CFM: A History

2003  | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

Collection of old CFM marketing material

2003

December > Professors Peter Forsyth and Mark Giesbrecht from the Cheriton School of Computer Science in the Faculty of Mathematics and Professors Duane Kennedy and Ken Vetzal from the School of Accounting and Finance in the Faculty of Arts begin discussing noticeable trends in the banking and financial industry that demonstrate a strong shift toward using technologically-based tools and practices to support their businesses. With this shift, they confess to having many talented graduates from finance or computer science programs who can support these changes but who lack the formalized education to combine these two areas of thought for future development. Connecting with their industry partners, they reaffirm this gap and need for qualified professionals with combined computer science and financial skills. Through these conversations, the professors set to work in building the framework for a single degree, double major program known as Computing and Financial Management (CFM). The long process to develop a plan and curriculum to combine studies in finance and computer science under a single Bachelor of Computing and Financial Management (BCFM) degree begins.

Proposals for the CFM program are submitted to the Undergraduate Academic Plan Committee (UAPC) and the Computer Science Council in the Cheriton School of Computer Science; the Undergraduate Affairs Committee in the Faculty of Mathematics; the Arts Undergraduate Affairs Group (UGAG) and the Arts Faculty Committee (AFC) in the Faculty of Arts.

2005

  • March > After multiple discussions and drafts are reviewed for the CFM program, the proposal is approved by UGAG in the Faculty of Arts. 
  • April 14 > The CFM program is approved by the Arts Faculty Council and the Math Faculty Council.
  • May > The CFM program is officially approved following a decision by the Senate Undergraduate Council (SUC) in its final stages of review. It becomes the first and only program in Canada to offer a combined degree in computer science and finance. Professors Peter Forsyth (May 2005 to June 2008) and Duane Kennedy (May 2005 to December 2009) are appointed to serve as the first CFM Co-Directors for the program.

2006

  • March > A part-time CFM Program Manager is hired to oversee the administration of the program. The position of CFM Program Manager is first held by Colleen Morrow (March 2006 to September 2008).
  • August > Program brochures and flyers are developed to start promoting CFM to future students and the Co-Directors attend the Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF) for the first time.

2007

September > Forty-four students are admitted as part of the first incoming class of CFM. The School of Accounting and Finance Living-Learning Community is offered to CFM students to share a floor with their program peers in Village 1 residence and receive support from a Peer Leader. 

First class of CFM students

2008

  • March > A program review of CFM is conducted to ensure that degree expectations are matched with career needs.
  • May > The first class of students undertake their first co-op work term experience.
  • July > Professor George Labahn is appointed CFM Co-Director (July 2008 to June 2011).
  • September > Bonnie Bishop serves as the Interim CFM Program Manager (September 2008 to September 2009).

2009

September > Tracy Hilpert is hired as the new CFM Program Manager (September 2009 to June 2011).

2010

January > Professor Ken Vetzal is appointed CFM Co-Director (January 2010 to June 2014).

2011

  • June > The CFM programs welcomes its first class of graduates made up of 17 students. In the same month, Bonnie Bishop starts to serve as the Interim CFM Program Manager.
  • July > Professor Yuying Li is appointed CFM Co-Director (July 2011 to June 2013).
  • August > Professor David Ha is hired as the new full-time CFM Program Manager (August 2011 to June 2015).

2012

2013

  • March > Andrew George-Parkin (BCFM ’14) and his team win the Equity Research Challenge hosted by the School of Accounting and Finance. Their prize is to ring the bell in the opening ceremonies of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Thursday, March 28.
  • May > The CFM program receives accreditation from Canada’s Association of Information (CIPS) as a University Accredited Program for I.T. professionals.
  • July >
    • Linda Teng (BCFM ’14) and her team take home the winning prize of $2,000 at the inaugural Investment Research Challenge hosted by the School of Accounting and Finance. The first runner-up team is comprised of another group of CFM students (Dustin Fader, BCFM ’14 and Jing Xue, BCFM ‘18). 
    • Professor George Labahn is appointed CFM Co-Director (July 2013 to August 2018) for his second appointment term.

2014

2015

  • January > A team of CFM students (Kam Dhaliwal, BCFM ’17; David Xia, BCFM ’17; and Daniel Wang, BCFM ‘16) step up to form the Investment Fund Team and showcase their financial expertise.
  • June > Priya Murali (BCFM ’18) and her team take home the winning prize of $2,000 at the 3rd annual Investment Research Challenge hosted by the School of Accounting and Finance.
  • August > Jordyn Gray-McInnis is hired as the new CFM Program Manager (August 2015 to November 2016).

2016

November > Tian Kou starts to serve as the Interim CFM Program Manager (November 2016 to May 2017).

2017

  • May > Tracy Hilpert serves as the Interim CFM Program Manager (May 2017 to July 2017).
  • July > Heather Steinmetz is hired as the new CFM Program Manager (July 2017 to current).
  • December > The admissions target for CFM is officially increased to 45 students.

2018

  • January > CFM student and his team take home the gold at the Canadian University Chess Championship Competition held in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • May > The student-led Computing and Finance Student Association (CFSA) is formed under the Mathematics Society (MathSoc). 
  • June > A CFM student Jennifer Lo (BCFM ’18) and her team capture first place at the Business Analytics Competition & Conference (BAC@MC), hosted by the O’Malley School of Business at Manhattan College in New York City.
  • September >
    • CFM students and their teammates take home the $2,000 cash prize as the winners of the 2018 Investment Research Challenge. 
    • Professor Yuying Li is appointed CFM Co-Director (September 2018 to July 2019) for her second appointment term.
  • November > Upper year CFM students, host the first-ever CFM hackathon for first year students to introduce them to hackathon culture and teach them new programming languages.

2019

July > Professors James Thompson and Justin Wan are appointed as the new CFM Co-Directors (July 2019 to current).