The stability of a virtual economic system

An online game allows players to earn virtual currency and to collect, sell and buy online prizes, in effect creating a self©\contained virtual economy. There are indications that virtual gaming economies generate currency instabilities, increases in prices, and the accumulation of large virtual wealth holdings by some players. Such distortions can threaten the sustainability of the economy and the entertainment value for players.

Visualizing Fan Trends

The objective of this research project is to insight trends and associations between fans of various entertainment properties, the entertainment industry and the media properties themselves. The intern will begin by analyzing data from various sources such as product sales reports, market growth rates as well as data previously collected by the company. Based on the data, key factors will be extracted and employed in the analysis. Existing visualization techniques will be tested and if necessary, new methods will be created to better interpret the data.

Sustainable Community Economic Development in British Columbia

In this project, the intern will create a sustainable community economic development guide that will identify and document the current range of initiatives towards sustainable community economic development available to local governments in BC. This guide will outline the framework, methodology, tools, initiatives and resources available to local governments in BC striving to support local economies.

Social and Environmental Purchasing Portal

The intent of this internship is to undertake the research necessary to enable Vancity to develop a social and environmental purchasing portal. The target audience will be Vancity staff via their existing intranet, Insite. The research will focus on Vancity’s peer and micro-entrepreneurs, their social enterprises and its ‘green’ business members. The idea is to provide staff with a tool to help inform their purchasing habits for both corporate discretionary spending as well as personal buying.

Neural Correlates of Branding Effects across Different Media

The purpose of branding is to create high brand familiarity and positive brand image which contribute to the building of brand equity. The underlying mechanisms, both at a cognitive and electrophysiological level, are poorly understood. The main goal of this study will be the exploration of the electrophysiological correlates of branding of a familiar product and compare these effects across different media channels. If branding through TV, as explored in one study, produces a certain effect on brain waves, does branding in print and online produce the same or similar effect?

Financial Risk Management

Risk management is a topic of great current importance to financial firms. In this project, the intern will undertake research with a small investment firm to develop more efficient risk management techniques. He will assemble a new database that is relevant to the firm’s existing and potential investment strategies. This database will be used to develop models of underlying risk factors, which will be used in the development of innovative risk management tools to assist the company with controlling its risk exposures.

Evaluation of Catastrophic Risk System

Understanding the likelihood and trends in the occurrence and severity of natural disasters is an intricate part of insurance risk analytics. In today’s marketplace, the task of quantifying such risks is handled by vendors of catastrophe modeling tools. Due to proprietary, the vendors do not disclose the scientific and technical at sufficient detail for the users (insurance companies) to understand the modeling output thoroughly, such as sensitivity to assumptions, difference among different models, etc.

Analytical Framework for Valuation of Commercial Leases

The objective of the project is to provide a foundation of an efficient commercial real estate market. This project first wants to derive the values of terms in commercial lease such that both landlord and tenants can have a better understanding on how each term can affect them and by how much. The second objective of the project is to introduce a new liquid real estate investment instrument to the market.

New Business Development: Food Service Applications for Earthcycle Packaging

Market segmentation, research and analysis for a potentially significant new product line to be developed by Earthcycle Packaging. An opportunity exists to market and distribute compostable/biodegradable plates to certain food service segments such as airlines, hospitals and other institutions, and restaurants. The internship will focus on dissecting these markets to evaluate the business decision and establish metrics for competing products moving forward.

Comparison of Scalable Analytics Correlation and Classical Correlation in High-Frequency Finance

Measures of covariance and correlation between returns of different financial assets are of great interest in the finance industry. In the high-frequency domain, raw price data is filled with numerous bad data points to which traditional definitions of correlation by Pearson are very sensitive to these outliers, and thus should not be directly applied to raw high-frequency data. Robust measures of correlation less sensitive to outliers can be used to improve the performance of popular financial methods.