Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan

Tell us about your background:

I attended UNH for my undergraduate and finished with a degree in Business Analytics and a degree in Economics. My main interests are banking and finance. My final project for my analytics degree was a new pricing system for a heating and cooling distributor. I also wrote an Economics thesis paper on the impact of additional privately-owned student housing on the university and community of Durham, NH.

What are your professional goals:

I would love to work in finance, using Data Science to analyze and optimize investment opportunities. With publicly available data it is possible to find trends in overall market conditions, as well as individual indicators of a company's performance, that could be used to reduce the overall risk of investments. This same method could be used to find new opportunities that may have been otherwise missed.


Tell us about analytics projects:

There have been 3 major projects that I have completed or helped complete.

The first project is entitled Investing with and Against the Herd

This individual project explores the use of machine learning across multiple sources of information regarding investment opportunities. Using ANOVA tests on fundamental analyses to find outliers in change and measuring this against real-time price movements to determine precise timing for investments. At the same time, using continuous sentiment analysis against price movements to identify herd behavior. This is only a theoretical research paper and there has been no technical development of these methods.


The second project is entitled Optimizing Trading Algorithms using Various Macroeconomic Indicators

This individual project explains the development of multiple trading algorithms based on Markov's chain. Once the algorithm was established I used full factorial experimental design to determine optimal settings. Finally, I compared these settings over dynamic macroeconomic indicators (market cap and volatility mostly) to find a relationship between the algorithm's success and these macroeconomic indicators.


The final project is entitled Using AirBnB as an Investment Vehicle

This group project investigated the possibility as using Airbnb as an investment through purchasing specific property in Boston and providing specific amenities. It was discovered through publicly available data that the returns for constantly renting an AirBnB in Boston were much higher than that of traditional renting. The average return on investment over 5 years using the methods developed through this project showed high risk returns upwards of 400% of investment.


What have I found valuable about the program thus far?

This program is great for many reasons, but my favorite qualities are the pace and diversity. Courses began immediately and almost immediately we began to develop our skills in machine learning. Professor Mittal always is a great instructor and communicates difficult material well. The work that I was producing by mid-summer was already more valuable and complex than anything I’ve done prior. Another factor of the program I appreciate is the diversity of the student body. There are many students of all ages, backgrounds, and origins. This a great change from my undergraduate degree which was nearly all students of the same age and origin.


Have you attended any conferences?

I have attended the Northeast Data Conference. This was fascinating as it showed the incredible state and speed of growth in data science and artificial neural networks. Having a neurobiologist explain his work with creating neural networks was fascinating and to some degrees dizzying with complexity. This conference also helped me understand one of my concerns with data science: as black box models continue to advance, do data scientists understand more or less about our world? It appears that we are able to stay ahead of our models and there are even some data scientist working on converting black box models into understandable computations and decisions.

Extracurricular activities:

For the duration of my time at UNH I have been a varsity athlete on the men's track and field team. My career has been successful and still feels like it is only beginning. As of February 2018, I am currently ranked number 5 in all of NCAA, have 4 Academic All-American titles, finished 7th and the US National Champion, hold both indoor and outdoor school records, have received field athlete of the year for the America East conference, and have been named New Hampshire's hometown hero for my athletic achievements and my time spent volunteering for Dover High School.

Prior to this success, I have also found success in indoor marching percussion. In my senior year of high school I auditioned and was selected to play in an independent indoor percussion group called Pure Fusion. We would travel the greater Boston area and perform against other groups being judged and ranked by the difficulty and quality of our performance. In my second year with the group, I was named captain and helped lead our group to the World Final round in Dayton, Ohio finishing 9th in the world that year in front of a 10,000+ person crowd. I finished my marching career as the drum captain of the Wildcat Marching Band.

To learn more about Mike connect with him on LinkedIn.

To read more about Mike's amazing UNH athletics career, check out this article about his time here at UNH.

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