Readings and Software

All the class readings are online and listed in the schedule. Mostly we will use Safari online, a large database of practitioner's books spanning from computer science to finance. Access to Safari Online is free to UVA students, but it requires to be on grounds. If you would like to access from other locations, you need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you do not have it installed already, this page will guide you through the free installation process for either Macs or Windows machines.


Visual Studio is installed in every computer in every McIntire lab. Many students choose to work from the labs. It is definitely the easiest option.
If you want your own copy on your own machine, download it from the ITS site. When you get to the "UVASoftware" page, look for the “more options” tab and “MS imagine premium”; they are somewhat hard to find. Download VS 2017 (NOT the "Community" version). If you have a Mac you need to first install a tool such as Boot Camp or Parallels, and then install on it 1) Windows, 2) Office, and 3) Visual Studio on it.

Spring 2017: Many students had trouble running VS on their machines and were getting an "Unable to create a VSTO workbook" error or similar. The following is not a guaranteed solution, but it had a high success rate:
1) Install Visual Studio from the ITS site (above)
2) Make sure Visual Studio and all other Microsoft programs are closed
3) Open the Control Panel.  Click “Programs and Features”. In the left sidebar, click “View Installed Updates”
At the very top-right of the "Uninstall an Update" screen, type into the Search box: KB3115135. There may be one or more entries labeled "Security Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB3115135)".  Select and click Uninstall.  Uninstall them all. Now, reopen Visual Studio.  You should be able to create a VSTO workbook.

Home users: this update may come back again in the future.  Either repeat step 2-3 above, or download the “Show or Hide Updates” tool from Microsoft to permanently block KB3115135:

Connecting to the Database server from home

If you want to use Visual Studio to connect to the DB server from home, you need to do the following:
1) create a text file containing the following text, as a single line:
runas /netonly /user:"mcintire\sg6m" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"
2) change the line above as needed with your mcintire userid, and the exact location of the version of Visual Studio that you are using.
3) Save the file as "VS from home.bat"
4) Start the VPN to Mcintire
5) Click on the "VS from home.bat" file and enter your McIntire password if requested
6) Make sure that in your code you refer to the server with its full name:

Additional resources

If you want to deepen your learning about options and derivatives, I recommend Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives by John Hull. It is a very well-regarded reference book, albeit pricey. If you want to save some money, do not buy the latest edition. Any recent edition will do.

If you are a programming beginner, then Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic 2015 in 24 Hours by James Foxall, is a very good free option to get you started quickly or to fill some gaps in your knowledge.   The Visual Basic official reference by Microsoft is not really intended as something that you read from top to bottom. It is best used as a reference dictionary for the language and its keywords. Use it that way.

To learn more about SQL, look into Getting Started with SQL by T. Nield.


The Tournament

Some of the following links will be enabled later in the course.