A joint seminar offered by AdNovum and Swiss Finance + Technology Association gathered more than 40 participants willing to learn more on Python, R, F# and GPUs applications in FinTech. All back to school to keep up with the many exciting developments happening in the sector.

by Swati Mital

Swiss Finance + Technology Association organised a hugely successful evening seminar on 14th July 2016 on open source technologies used in Finance. This was a unique event for two reasons.

  • First and foremost, it was a joint collaboration between AdNovum, a well-known Swiss technology company who opened the doors to their beautiful offices in downtown Zurich for this event, and the Swiss Fintech Association;
  • Secondly, the seminar managed to pack in an impressive coverage of detailed technical presentations a variety of programming frameworks popular in FinTech in one short evening.

With a solid attendance of over 40 participants from diverse backgrounds, as is often the case in Zurich, the talks provided much needed practical examples of leveraging the latest advancements in Python, R, F# and GPUs to solve complex problems. The speakers for the evening, who are well known experts in their field, stayed back late after the talks to answer questions and participate in FinTech discussions with the audience.

Statistical Analysis and Machine Learning in Python by Dr. Yves Hilpisch

Dr. Yves Hilpisch, author of several technical books, lecturer in Computational Finance and the managing partner of “The Python Quants” kicked off the seminar by providing an introduction to the Python ecosystem that lends towards rapid prototyping. He then gave several practical examples and showed us how to build web services in Python, backtest quantitative trading strategies and use Machine Learning for classification problems. Finally, he wrapped up his talk with an example of integrating Python and R, two very popular Data Science languages, in a single framework.

F# and GPUs by Dr. Daniel Egloff

The next speaker for the evening, Dr. Daniel Egloff, partner at InCube Advisory, and one of the leading world experts in high performance computing, gave an introduction to functional programming and, in particular, to F#. He demonstrated the power of F# and what makes it attractive for numerically complex problems like Machine Learning and GPU Computing. In fact, we had the privilege of being the first audience worldwide to be shown his new Open Source Libraries, Alea GPU and Alea TK. Make sure to check them out (see the references below)!

Fintech Applications in Python and Excel by Felix Zumstein

The final speaker for the evening, Felix Zumstein, Founding Partner and CEO of Zoomer Analytics gave a thoroughly enjoyable presentation on Python and, in particular, how Big Data Visualization in Python can be turned into a piece of art through open-source libraries like Plotly and his very own co-creation, xlwings, that connects Excel and Python. He also shared many extremely helpful Python code snippets with us including some for hosting Python applications on mobile devices.

After the intense learning

We rounded off the evening with pizzas and beer kindly provided by our hosts, AdNovum, and Swiss Finance + Technology Association. The relaxed evening led to many lively technical and non-technical discussions and, even though it was a school night, the attendance right till the closing time was very high.

The feedback from participants has been fantastic so far with great reviews and 5-star rating on the Swiss Fintech Meetup group. It is fair to say that there is a huge appetite in Zurich to hold similar technical workshops in the future and focus on selected specialized topics, like, Machine Learning, High Performance Computing or Mobile Development. There are many exciting developments taking place in the world of finance and technology and we would love to see Switzerland playing a major role in it.


If you would like to learn more about the speakers and their work please consult the following links:

  1. Dr. Yves Hilpisch
  2. Dr. Daniel Egloff
  3. Felix Zumstein