2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Dacheng Xiu, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Congrats to Dacheng Xiu of the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.


Dacheng Xiu

Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Professor Xiu’s teaching changed my life. He is the rare MBA professor who teaches students cutting edge machine learning, inspires a lifelong love of mathematics and finance, and generally represents the best of Booth as a quanty, rigorous MBA program.” – Samuel Wachtel

Dacheng Xiu, 39, is a professor of econometrics and statistics at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. 

Xiu’s work has appeared in the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and the Annals of Statistics.

He is a co-editor for the Journal of Financial Econometrics, and an associate editor for the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Econometrics, and Management Science.

He has received several recognitions for his research, including the Fellow of the Society for Financial Econometrics, Fellow of the Journal of Econometrics, AQR Insight Award, EFA Best Paper Prize, and Swiss Finance Institute Outstanding Paper Award.


At current institution since what year? 2011

Education: Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, Princeton University; BS in Mathematics, University of Science and Technology of China

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Decoding FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized during graduate school that finance and economics have the potential to create a significant impact on people’s daily lives, and business schools provide an ideal environment to cultivate innovative ideas and turn them into actionable solutions.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My current research centers on developing machine learning solutions for big data problems in empirical asset pricing. One significant discovery from my research is the effectiveness of machine learning techniques in accurately measuring equity risk premia and identifying investment opportunities using a combination of firm fundamentals, technical signals, and alternative data sources. Additionally, I have adapted classical econometric approaches in asset pricing to the new big data environment to gain insights into the underlying economic mechanisms driving expected asset returns and market inefficiencies. These discoveries have the potential to diagnose economic mechanisms, better understand investors’ behavior, and ultimately enhance investment decision-making.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would be interested in pursuing a career as an entrepreneur or in the field of science. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? In general, curiosity and rigor are two important traits that can help a professor stand out in their field. Curiosity allows a professor to explore new ideas and approaches to research, while rigor ensures that their work is thorough and precise.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Stressful

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Upon reflection of my experience, I have come to appreciate the paramount importance of possessing effective communication, writing, and presentation skills in this profession. I only wish someone had emphasized their significance to me sooner in my career.

Professor I most admire and why: It’s difficult to pick just one as several have inspired me in different ways. However, Andy Lo is certainly on my shortlist. I admire him for his groundbreaking research in finance, which has expanded the boundaries of traditional finance and has paved the way for exploring the intersections of finance with other disciplines such as biology and psychology. Moreover, Andy’s speeches are captivating and engaging, and he has a remarkable talent for communicating complex ideas in a way that is accessible to a wide range of audiences. His work has had a tremendous impact on both academic finance and the financial industry as a whole, and he is widely recognized as a thought leader in this field.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Business students constantly challenge me to evaluate the relevance of the course materials beyond the confines of the ivory tower. Their pragmatic approach and enthusiasm for applying theories and concepts to real-world situations inspire me to ask insightful questions in my own research, making teaching business students an incredibly fulfilling and intellectually stimulating experience.

What is most challenging? What I find most challenging is to effectively cater to the needs of students with diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities. This requires a lot of effort to create and modify course materials to ensure that they are relevant, engaging, and effective in helping students achieve their learning objectives.

In a word, describe your favorite type of student: proactive

In a word, describe your least favorite type of student: passive

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… fair


What are your hobbies? Sightseeing, hiking, billiards, chess

How will you spend your summer? Traveling around the world, spending time with family, and catching up with friends.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Mountains.

Favorite book(s): I recently read “The Man Who Solved the Market”, “The Code Breaker”, and “Bad Blood” and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for engaging and insightful reads.

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? “A beautiful mind.” I enjoy movies about scientific figures such as “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything.” “A beautiful mind” was the first of its kind that I watched. It inspired me to pursue graduate studies at Princeton.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? My favorite type of music is pop, and I particularly enjoy the music of Jay Chou, Taylor Swift, and Adele. While I can’t explain exactly why I’m drawn to their music, I know that listening to their songs always puts me in a good mood and helps me unwind after a long day.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… I believe the business school of the future should embrace an interdisciplinary approach to education, drawing upon domain knowledge from diverse fields such as computer science, biomedical engineering, environmental science, medical and health care, and more. This type of curriculum can help prepare future entrepreneurs to stay ahead of the curve and embrace cutting-edge technology, inspiring them to create businesses in areas that can make a positive impact on society.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… In a post-pandemic world, companies and organizations need to find innovative ways to adapt to changing work environments and embrace remote work. This requires building a culture of trust and transparency, as well as maintaining effective communication channels between remote workers and their colleagues.

I’m grateful for… I am incredibly grateful for the many people who have helped shape me into the person I am today, including my family, friends, teachers, advisors, colleagues, coauthors, and students. Each of these individuals has played a unique and important role in my life, and I am grateful for the lessons they have taught me, the support they have provided, and the inspiration they have given me.



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