Ali Hirsa and Anthony “Tony” Trinh will speak at the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Spring Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on May 19, 2016, at 3 p.m. at the Xfinity Center on campus.
Hirsa (M.S. ’93, civil engineering; M.A. ’97, Ph.D. ’98, applied mathematics) is managing partner at Sauma Capital, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and an elected member of the University of Maryland, College Park Foundation Board of Trustees. During his career, he has helped investment firms protect their assets, patented methods for post-trade allocations, and written books and journal articles that guide future financiers.
Hirsa emigrated from Iran at the age of 25 and fell in love with mathematics. In the applied mathematics graduate program at Maryland, he worked on two dissertations—one with Smith School of Business Professor of Finance Dilip Madan (M.A. ’71, Ph.D. ’75, mathematics; Ph.D. ’72, economics) and a second with Computer Science Professor Howard Elman—developing algorithms for complex mathematical models to help explain what drives sudden jumps in commodity and stock prices. According to Hirsa, Madan taught him how to use mathematics in financial applications and Elman taught him how to build scalable and efficient algorithms.
After graduating, Hirsa first cut his teeth as a quantitative analyst, or “quant,” determining equations and creating pricing engines and options for trading and risk management. By 2004, he moved to the buy side as a quant trader. Hirsa has worked at corporations including the Banc of America Securities, Morgan Stanley and Caspian Capital Management.
Hirsa loves sharing what he has learned with his students at Columbia. He hopes to offer them the same supportive, yet challenging, learning environment his Maryland professors did years ago.
Trinh is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a specialization in general biology and a minor in nanoscale science and technology.
Trinh participated in several undergraduate research experiences during his time at Maryland. He conducted research on malignant gliomas at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md. On campus, he studied alternative vaccine design and created modular nanoscale vaccine capsules in Fischell Department of Bioengineering Assistant Professor Christopher Jewell’s lab.
A volunteer at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg, Md., Trinh also worked part-time for two years at Suburban Hospital as an internal medicine scribe and IT specialist.
Trinh is a member of the University Honors program and the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) honors program—a multidisciplinary program that engages business, engineering and science majors to complete real-world, client-based consulting projects. His team recently completed its capstone project to streamline the process flow for a roofing company. Trinh also served as chairman of the QUEST student organization for several semesters.
He is also very active in campus life. Trinh’s activities include teaching and tutoring in biological sciences and the Honors College, serving as a Residence Hall Association senator and Student Government Association representative, working as a resident assistant, serving on the executive board of the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, and sailing as a member of the UMD club team. He is also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
In the fall, Trinh will attend medical school at the University of Maryland as a U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship recipient. He will serve as a U.S. Air Force general medical officer following the completion of his medical degree. Trinh is from Derwood, Md.
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.