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MFM Instructors

Arkady Shemyakin

Arkady Shemyakin

Affiliated Faculty and MFM Instructor

Arkady Shemyakin has a M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Novosibirsk State University and Sobolev Institute of Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences. He worked in Russia prior to 1993, when he moved to the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. His field is mathematical and statistical methods in applications to finance, insurance, and engineering. He teaches classes in evening programs at the U of M since 2006. Arkady also does research and consulting, most recently in the fields of Bayesian statistical analysis, copula models, and Markov chain Monte Carlo.

Camelia Pop

Camelia Pop

Assistant Professor, School of Mathematics

Dr. Camelia Pop is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. From 2015-2016 she was also a long term visitor to the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and involved in the Thematic Year on Control Theory and its Applications.  From  2012-2015 Dr. Pop was a Post Doctorate Fellow and the Hans Rademacher Instructor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. She got her PhD in Mathematics as Rutgers University. Her research interests include: stochastic analysisi, partial defferential equations, mathematical finance, and mathematical biology. For more details on Dr. Pop's  publications, lectures and teaching, click here .

Carlos Tolmasky

Carlos Tolmasky

MCFAM Assistant Professor

Dr. Tolmasky was part of the founding team of industry practitioners and academics who developed the Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program within MCFAM. His research focus is Mathematical Finance.  Prior to his full time appointment at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Tolmasky was a derivatives trader at Cargill Petroleum. He joined Cargill in 1996 as a member of their Research Group focusing on the development and implementation of derivatives models for fixed income and commodities markets. He later joined the petroleum group as a "desk quant" and, more recently, as a derivatives/relative value trader. He holds an undergraduate degree (Licenciado) from the University of Buenos Aires and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Washington.

Christ Bemis

Chris Bemis

Affiliated Faculty and MFM Instructor

Chris is a Sr. Portfolio Manager - Quantitative Equity for Whitebox Advisors, working primarily on equity market modeling outside of the United States. He is also an active researcher for the Whitebox quantitative group, where he works on varied problems in the context of equity, derivative, and fixed income strategies.

Dr. Bemis earned his PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Minnesota. His thesis work involved both modeling and optimization for portfolios of risky assets.

Christopher Prouty

Christopher Prouty

Exotics Trader-Cargill and MFM Instructor

Exotics Trader at Cargill and serves as the instructor for FM 5091/5092: Computation, Algorithms and Coding in Finance

Chris began his financial career as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Applied Economics, Chris has worked in commodities and insurance, in roles focusing on trading and risk management through derivative strategies. Chris currently works for Cargill, where he is an exotic derivatives trader. During college and shortly thereafter Chris operated a small software consulting firm, CP Consulting. He has completed freelance software development projects for Twin Cities firms, including the University of Minnesota Foundation and ACR ATI, a firm which offers employee testing services to the health care industry.

Gary Hatfield

Gary Hatfield

Affiliated Faculty and MFM Instructor

Dr. Hatfield is an Actuary for Securian Financial Group in St. Paul (the parent company of Minnesota Life Insurance Company). The focus of his work is financial risk management. He is a key leader in Securian’s risk management function, and serves on the company’s most senior risk committee. He plays a key oversight role in Asset Liability Management and Hedging as well as the development of those functions. In addition, Gary dedicates much of his time to innovation initiatives such as Data Analytics. He earned his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota where he continues to be involved at the School of Mathematics as an Assistant Professor and an Advisory Board Member for MCFAM (Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics). Dr. Hatfield is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries <https://www.soa.org/member/>, a member of the American
Academy of Actuaries <http://www.actuary.org/> and is also a CFA charter holder. Previous to entering the insurance field in 1998, he taught College Mathematics in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Jason Vinar

Jason Vinar

MFM Instructor

Jason Vinar is Director of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, focused on investing, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and related investments. Two Harbors is a Pine River Capital Management company.

Throughout the course of his career he has also been involved in mathematical modeling and programming, platform architecture and data management. Prior to Two Harbors Jason was a Financial Engineer at Ameriprise Financial in the Quantitative Strategies Group. There he worked in a team involved in the design, development and implementation of financial applications and hedging platforms for the variable annuity living benefit riders within Ameriprise Financial. Previously Mr. Vinar was also Partner at Castle Peak Capital Advisors where he was responsible for model development and implementation for residential mortgage related products. He was also an Analytics Manager for the PIA unit at GMAC-ResCap. In this capacity he was responsible for managing the trading analytics and risk management functions of the PIA. Prior to that, he was Project Lead/Lead Developer for Financial Engineering projects in the Risk and Value Analytics group of GMAC-ResCap. Jason holds a Master's degree in Financial Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor's degrees, in Mathematics and Economics, from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

John Dodson

John Dodson

MFM Instructor

John is Vice President, Quantitative Risk Management at the Options Clearing Corporation in Chicago, which is the principal central counterparty for equity derivatives. Previously, John was with the treasury and investment risk management departments of Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis. Prior to returning to the midwest, John worked for several major international banks in New York, London, and Zurich. He entered the industry out of college with an appointment at the Bank for International Settlements.

John is an Adjunct professor with MCFAMs Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program. In addition to his affiliation with MCFAMs MFM program, John has taught about financial derivatives for the Carlson School of Management and for various industry programs.

John has a BS degree in physics and mathematics from Stanford and an MS degree in computational finance from Carnegie Mellon. John's affiliation with the U of M goes back to the 80's. He was an UMTYMP student and also participated in a mentorship program with the head of the physics department during his high school years.

Kaisa Taipale

Kaisa Taipale

MCFAM Assistant Professor

Kaisa Taipale is a mathematician with interests from the math of string theory to applications in climate and finance. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in algebraic geometry in 2010, Dr. Taipale taught at St. Olaf College for two years then visited the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, CA, and Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, during the 2012-2013 academic year. With MCFAM Dr. Taipale is leading student research projects in stress testing as well as the intersection of finance and climate.

Phil Jones Photo

Phil Jones

Affiliated Faculty and MFM Instructor

Dr. Phil Jones is Senior Vice President of Quantitative Strategies,  Capital Market Solutions at Ameriprise Financial. His teams are responsible for managing balance sheet risk for Ameriprise,  including hedging of Variable Annuity Riders, Enterprise Market Risk Management and Data Analytics.  Phil is also a Firefighter and EMT with the Eden Prairie Fire Department. He has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota (1995), an MA in Mathematics from Oxford University (1989)  in England. 

Sheryl Holt

Sheryl Holt

MFM English Communication Workshop Instructor

Sheryl Holt has been teaching professional communication skills to diverse populations at the University of Minnesota for over 35 years.  She is a specialist in undergraduate, graduate, and professional writing, and business communication skills.  She has also published several materials, including videos and textbooks, with a focus on writing, pronunciation, grammar, and presentation skills for diverse populations and advanced non-native speakers of English.  Sheryl Holt is an experienced instructor, coach, and trainer, teaching classes, seminars and workshops throughout the US and around the world in places such as Brazil, Turkey, Czech Republic, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Indonesia.