One of the big selling points for the SMF program for me was the technology and the tools that would be at my disposal for learning and schoolwork. In my undergrad, I was able to use it once and loved that experience and couldn’t wait until I had one at my disposal. I finally got my hands on my first one recently.
The Bloomberg Terminal: The most powerful financial research and database in the world.
A massive data stream, unparalleled in scope and depth, delivered to your desktop in real time. Along with data, the Bloomberg Professional® provides access to all the news, analytics, communications, charts, liquidity, functionalities and execution services that you need to put knowledge into action.
Dr. Pinteris had one of the Bloomberg representative’s come in and provide more or less a crash course in the technology. He briefly covered how powerful the terminal was. You can do anything from look up historical bond yields to exclusive news stories to dividend discount models for any of the 410,000 equities. The rep added that there are so many functions that he doesn’t know all of them.
In the past week, I’ve spent 6 hours working on the terminal. Working at this point with my frame of mind is more like playing though. I just sit there, watch instructional videos and go into functions to learn more and obtain a better feel. It is an important skill to have because in the Investments community, knowledge of Bloomberg is essential. Having the navigational skills on the terminal before entering the job market will give a boost to my marketability.
If you thought this was outside the Blackwell (the hotel at Fisher), think again. This is actually an algae farm in Marysville, just outside Columbus! Of course, the algae has been cleaned out and the tents cleaned for the next ‘crop’.
Well, when you are at Fisher, there are a lot of things that you are exposed to… and a visit to a next-gen energy company was the high point of this week.
Algae, as we know it, is this mucky green unwanted substance that grows in stagnant waters, spoiling our lakes and other water bodies. These guys take this and convert it to bio-fuel! How cool is that?!
The 2-step process is this:
1. They use a proprietary silica coagulant that forms ‘ribbons’ from the algae which can then be smoothly removed without any disruption to the lake’s bio-system.
2. This is then dried on special driers which then gives us dried algae.
The dried algae can then be processed as a raw material to generate fuel similar to diesel and gasoline!
Now the ramifications of this are beyond the cost and environmental-friendliness.
Think of this situation – What if hundreds of us need to live in the middle of nowhere for months on end, where we need to run machinery and/ or automobiles? Transportation of fuel would be a major logistical nightmare and would add to the cost of the fuel substantially. This is exactly the situation that the army faces all the time. One of the extracted fuels from algae is very similar to the fuel used by the army. So they can now have algae farms at military camps where they can ‘grow’ their own fuel.
In this never-ending quest for energy, I’m not sure where the battle is headed… But the fuel is definitely headed to the battlefields!