For academics, conferences pose an opportunity to present their work, stay connected to peers in their field and learn about cutting-edge scholarship. Oftentimes, awards are given for first-class research papers that help to further understanding on important issues.

Qian Yang headshot

Qian Yang, Ph.D. student in finance

This year, a Broad Spartan was among the best. At the 14th annual International Risk Management Conference, Qian Yang, Ph.D. student in finance, received the IRMC Best Conference Paper award for his working paper, “Fat and Fatter: Monthly Crash Risk and Investor Trading.”

“It is important to have early recognition for my work,” Yang said. “Having been rewarded this way is an indication that I can do serious academic research and be recognized by peers. It helps me to build an early reputation and is a great way to signal my potential as a future researcher.”

Yang’s adviser Naveen Khanna, A.J. Pasant Endowed Chair in Finance, added, “Qian is a very promising doctoral candidate, extremely intuitive and with a sound understanding of capital markets, which has enabled him to tackle tough and important questions.”

The 2021 IRMC conference, held both online and in person in Cagliari, Italy, on Oct. 1–3, brought together leading experts for a multi-day event with keynote sessions, professional workshops and more. In addition to Yang’s award, the conference also gave Best COVID-19 Related Paper and Best Young Researcher awards.

Within the finance realm, Yang’s paper specifically studies the influence of retail trading on the stock market. This year, it also received the Best Doctoral Papers Award at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Academy of Behavioral Finance & Economics.

“[My research] shows that more retail trading contributes to an increased propensity for stocks to crash, meaning it would destabilize the market, making it more volatile,” he said. “It also introduces novel machine learning methodology to help predict rare events.”

“Qian richly deserves this and other recognitions he has gotten for his job market paper,” Khanna said. “It deals with the important issue of market crashes, which are hard to predict. He has done it, though, by cleverly using data from Robinhood and a popular Reddit forum known as r/wallstreetbets to overcome some challenging technical issues.

“Not surprisingly, he has been quoted in the popular press on topics like Tesla, EVs and the Robinhood trading platform,” Khanna continued. “His broad research interests and the quality of his papers has made him a credible voice on matters concerning evolving technologies, even before he has graduated. I believe he has the potential to be a leading researcher and wish him all the best.”

Yang’s award serves as a testament to the college’s strengths in finance, illuminating how Broad Spartans strive for the absolute best and help shape the future of business.