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Thursday, September 6, 2012

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Business College Opens Trading Room, Featuring State-of-the-Art Bloomberg Terminals

Old Dominion's College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) has opened the Trading Room in Constant Hall, which features 12 state-of-the-art Bloomberg Terminals, a number that will double by the end of this year.

The Bloomberg Terminal is a portal to all of the real-time information that Bloomberg and other news and financial services collect and analyze, displayed in a user-friendly format.

But in case the view on campus is that the room will be an educational tool only for finance students, CBPA Dean Gil Yochum offers up these words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

"For our part, the State Department has talented, tireless diplomats engaged in economic outreach around the world. At every level, we are trying to up our game," Clinton said, in an address to the Economic Club of New York in September 2011. "We should be aiming for universal economic literacy and widespread expertise. We need to be a department where more people can read both foreign affairs and a Bloomberg Terminal."

Yochum said the Trading Room "will benefit the entire campus. Whenever we have the ability to integrate real-world data into classrooms, it's a great platform from which to ask questions and find answers. It doesn't matter if you're in finance, engineering or the social sciences. It's a resource."

The room - located across from the dean's office on the second floor of Constant Hall - underwent a dramatic transformation this summer. In addition to the 12 Terminals, the room features rows of modern desks and flat-screen monitors that display real-time market and business information.

The next 12 Bloomberg Terminals will be installed in time for the spring semester. One class will be taught in the Trading Room this fall, the Investment Fund course led by Mohammad Najand, professor of finance. Training will take place on the sophisticated computer system throughout the fall semester.

The room will be operated under the direction of Najand, who is a member of the business college's Economic Forecasting Project team. A hiring process is under way for a staff member to run day-to-day operations of the Trading Room. There will also be two graduate assistantships filled for Ph.D. students to work in support positions in the state-of-the-art learning laboratory, teaching students, staff and faculty how to use the technology and interface.

"This is an opportunity for us, but it's also our responsibility as a modern, forward-focused college to provide this service to our students and faculty," Yochum said.

The renowned Bloomberg Terminal is an iconic presence on trading floors around the world. But it's no mere symbol. It is billed as the most useful tool available to financial professionals today. In addition to the immense amount of real-time data the Terminals offer, they are flexible enough to allow users to adjust configuration of the screens to see the Bloomberg data array in their preferred, display environment.

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