Python for Business Research
Rice University
Fall 2022


Kerry Back
J. Howard Creekmore Professor of Finance and Professor of Economics

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the python programming language and to the libraries that are most useful for business research. By the end of the course, students will be able to program in python, will be familiar with several different IDEs, and will have enough knowledge of relevant libraries to undertake various types of business research.

Course Deliverables

Each student will perform a replication in python of the key parts of a paper in his or her area of research. The replication should demonstrate command of several different components of research; for example, data handling, econometrics, and visualization. The replications are due by December 1.

Course Schedule by Week

  1. Python basics, numpy, pandas, WRDS
  2. Visualization - matplotlib, seaborn, and plotly
  3. Regression - fixed effects, clustered standard errors, robust standard errors, rolling window regressions, Fama-MacBeth
  4. Machine Learning I - robust regression, data transformations, dimensionality reduction, cross validation, pipelines
  5. Machine Learning II - random forests, boosted forests, neural networks
  6. Scientific programming - linear algebra, optimization, solvers, simulation, differential equations