“Financial Literacy in Crisis”, says Expert - Artificial Neural Networks Provide Key to Understanding the Problem

Published November 18th, 2007 - 07:34 GMT

Improving “financial literacy” rates can mitigate social problems, according to Dr. Hissam Tawfik, a world expert delivering a public lecture at The British University in Dubai (BUiD).

Financial Literacy is defined as the ‘ability of an individual to make informed judgments and to take effective decisions regarding the use and management of money’. Low rates of financial literacy pose substantial problems for a society, especially given the expansion of easy credit and the growing complexity of many consumer transactions.

“The research to be showcased at BUiD represents a potentially robust approach for assessing financial literacy determinants efficiently,” said Dr Saad Ali Amin, Head of the Faculty of Informatics and Senior Lecturer at the British University in Dubai. “Neural networks-based analysis shows real promise, and we’re proud to be hosting a public lecture by one of its leading thinkers.”

The identification of low rates of financial literacy as a new social problem is a relatively recent development. As an issue to be addressed by researchers, financial literacy is subject to an ongoing process of establishing clear methods and concepts with which to evaluate it. Dr. Tawfik uses modeling with artificial neural networks in order to evaluate public behaviour.

In the public lecture, offered as part of BUiD’s commitment to enhancing the development of the UAE knowledge economy, Tawfik will report on the potential of the Artificial Neural Network as a classification modeling tool for financial literacy. His unique approach to financial literacy modeling measured the ability of Australian youth to manage the financial aspects of credit cards, loans and superannuation. It provides useful insights into exploring this behavioural and mathematical aspect of contemporary consumer culture.

Hissam Tawfik is Senior Lecturer in Computing and Award Director of MSc Computer Science at Liverpool Hope University, England. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS). His writing has been published across a wide range of journals and conference proceedings.

About the British University in Dubai

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) is the Middle East's first research-based, postgraduate university. The University was established to facilitate access to world-class education, training and research in the Middle East. BUiD aspires to the highest, internationally recognized British standards as reflected in its partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Birmingham, the University of Manchester, Cardiff University and the Cass Business School at City University, London. Each has a five or five-star rating in the UK national Research Assessment Exercise that signifies research of international standard.

The not-for-profit university offers full and part-time Masters Degree programmes and Continuing Professional Development courses in Information Technology, Project Management, Human Resources Management, Sustainable Design of the Built Environment, Finance and Banking, Education, and IT Management.

All BUiD's current Masters Programmes have received Initial Accreditation Eligibility Status from the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research's Commission for Academic Accreditation.

The founders of the University are the Al Maktoum Foundation, the Dubai Development and Investment Authority, Rolls-Royce, the British Business Group and the National Bank of Dubai. The University is governed by a Council under the chairmanship of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The Emirates Group, DUCAB, Atkins, Dubai Duty Free, Hyder Consulting, the Emirates Foundation and DUGAS are supporters of the university through financial contributions or the provision of scholarships.


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