Tessa Childers-Day
Affiliated Graduate Student

Tessa Childers-Day graduated with highest honors from UC Davis in June of 2008, earning her B.S. in Statistics with a minor in Political Science. She is a 5th year Ph.D.student in the Department of Statistics at UC Berkeley, and her main research interest is the application of Hidden Markov Models to Finance. Tessa enjoys helping undergraduates understand and appreciate the beauty of statistics and is an advocate for science education, through her involvement with the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl.

Raymond C. W. Leung
Affiliated Graduate Student

Raymond C. W. Leung is currently a third year Ph.D. Finance student in the Haas School of Business and an M.A. Statistics student in the Department of Statistics at UC Berkeley. His research interests are in asset pricing and financial econometric theory. In asset pricing, he is studying how principal-agent models can be incorporated into financial security design problems. In financial econometrics, he is studying how to extend current univariate continuous-time stochastic volatility estimation techniques to the multivariate case.

Raymond holds a BCom in Finance and Accounting from the University of British Columbia, and a Graduate Diploma and a MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, photography and watching movies.

Markus Pelger
Affiliated Graduate Student

Markus Pelger is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at UC Berkeley. His research interests span several topics, including credit risk modeling, executive compensation, network economics and financial econometrics. His most recent paper explores the use of credit default swaps as a conversion trigger for contingent convertible bonds in a model with jumps.

For his work at Berkeley, he has received the Eliot J. Swan Prize, the INET Economic History Price and the Outstanding GSI Teaching Award. He has been Teaching Assistant for graduate and undergraduate courses in Econometrics and Finance. Among his fellowships are the German National Merit Foundation Scholarship, the Fulbright Scholarship, the German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Fellowship.

He holds a Diplom in Mathematics (with distinction) and a Diplom in Economics (with distinction) from the University of Bonn.

Peter Vinella
Affiliated Graduate Student

Peter is a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics at UC Berkeley; he recently returned to the program after a 30-year break and he is working under the supervision of Professor Craig Evans. His current research focuses on nonlinear analysis, stochastic optimal control theory, and differential games with applications to finance. He received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley and was in the Ph.D. program studying computational fluid mechanics under Alexandre Chorin in the late 1970’s. Peter was a Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Cal State Hayward (Cal State East Bay) in the early 1980’s.

Peter spent more than 25 years on Wall Street during his hiatus from academia, and he has held positions in senior management, trading and research at major financial institutions. He has provided testimony to the US House of Representatives and worked with US government agencies, including the GAO, the SEC, and the Federal Reserve, regarding the health of the US financial system. Peter is the coauthor of two books on operational risk management as well as dozens of articles on a wide variety of topics for major industry journals and the lay press. Peter is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on ABC Nightly News, the BBC, BBC Radio, and Bloomberg Radio in addition to penning op-ed pieces for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Peter is currently a Director with the Berkeley Research Group where he provides litigation-related consulting and expert testimony. To date, he has been a testifying expert on more than two dozen lawsuits, eight of which had more than $1B at issue.