Professorial Inaugural address: Prof Coenraad Labuschagne
Quantitative finance has some of its roots in probability theory, which has roots in functional analysis, according to Coenraad Labuschagne, a Professor Economic and Financial Sciences at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
He argued that the latter two provide an appropriate framework for the study of mathematical aspects of finance when he delivered his inaugural address in the Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Wednesday, 6 April 2016.
Prof Labuschagne’s address focussed on the complexities of the basic problems in quantitative finance and the tools from probability theory and functional analysis that are used to solve them.
Prof Labuschagne completed the degrees, BSc (Mathematics and Theoretical Physics) and BSc Honours (Mathematics) at Rand Afrikaans University in 1978 and 1979 respectively and obtained both degrees with distinction.
He wanted to specialise in functional analysis and enrolled for an MSc degree at Potchefstroom University in 1980 and obtained an MSc (Mathematics) with distinction. During July 1981 until June 1983 he did compulsory military service and spent the last eighteen months of this period teaching Algebra, Calculus and Nautical Science at the Military Academy in Saldana Bay. The Military Academy was part of the University of Stellenbosch at the time. After competing military service, he enrolled for a DSc degree at Potchefstroom University under the supervision of Professor JJ Grobler. He completed his thesis at the end of 1985 and graduated in May 1986.
In January 1986 he became a staff member in the Department of Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). In July 2008, he moved from the School of Mathematics at Wits to the Programme in Advanced Mathematics of Finance in the School of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Wits. At Wits, Coenraad moved through the ranks of lecturer, senior lecturer and associate professor to full professor.
In January 2014, he joined UJ’s Department of Finance and Investment Management as the Programme Manager of Quantitative Finance.
Prof Labuschagne has supervised four PhD students to completion and is currently supervising four PhD students. He has supervised twelve MSc students and co-supervised six MSc students to completion. He is currently supervising five MCom students.
He is an active researcher. His research interests include quantitative finance, stochastic processes, operator theory, vector lattice theory and geometric aspects of Banach space theory. Prof Labuschagne has published 50 research papers in international journals and 25 research papers in international conference proceedings.
He is on the editorial boards of three international research journals.
See Prof Labuschagne’s Professorial Inaugural address entitled A random walk through quantitative