Deakin University has unveiled an inter-bank foreign currency trading floor simulator for business students at its Burwood campus as part of a partnership with Telstra.
The project stemmed from the same strategic review that resulted in the recent decision to hire Sanjay Verma as its first CISO. The review was aimed at repositioning the university as a technological leader.
Dubbed the Telstra trading room, the simulator is one of the first of its kind in Australia, and is designed to imitate the look and feel of a real-life trading floor.
“The Telstra trading room enables us to teach our students to trade in a space that looks and operates in the same way as the trading floors of major banks and corporations around the world,” associate professor Victor Fang said.
The simulator includes a 4.8m x 1.4m trading wall made up of eight 55” LCD displays, along with tickers displaying real-time data from the ASX, Bloomberg and Yahoo Financial.
The video wall can be used to mirror any of the lecturer or student computer displays, with built-in teleconferencing capabilities.
Additional screens on each of the side walls can be set to show a 24-hour financial news channel or other content.
Behind the scenes, the system includes two 32x23 AV matrix switchers to distribute the audio and video around the room, and allows the students' conduct to be monitored from the control room.
Before entering the simulator, Deakin Business School students are divided into 15 teams of three and instructed to devise a strategic plan to deal with a particular economic scenario.
The students are then able to test their plans in the simulator against real-time market data, replicating the pressure experienced by currency traders.
“For me, I’m showing [the students] how to do trading while upholding a code of conduct,” Fang said.
“Not many universities have this setup, and not many make it part of their curriculum.”
Deakin University chief digital officer William Confalonieri said the trading room was an example of how the university intends to “set the pace in education” through the innovative use of technology.
“At Deakin, we have two clear priorities. The first is employability, and the second is innovation in how we deliver education. This environment will simulate a real-life business setting and fulfils both of those criteria.”
Confalonieri declined to detail the precise nature of the Telstra partnership.
“What I can say is this a collaborative project between Deakin and Telstra. This is an integrated solution from Telstra’s cloud… The cloud business for them is a strategic one, and they’ll be using this as a case study,” he said.