Irena Vodenska

Irena Vodenska Metropolitan College Faculty MemberAssociate Professor of Administrative Sciences; Coordinator of Finance Programs

PhD, Boston University
MBA, Vanderbilt University
MS, BS, University of Belgrade

Dr. Vodenska is an expert in international finance and investments, with more than fifteen years of hands-on experience in financial analysis and securities trading on Wall Street and in European markets. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst with experience in creating and actively managing hedge funds, specializing in risk arbitrage and convertible fixed-income securities. Vodenska has broad experience in academic teaching and corporate training, and her research focuses on network theory and complexity science applications in economics. She conducts theoretical and applied interdisciplinary research using quantitative approaches for modeling interdependences of financial networks, banking system dynamics, and global financial crises. Vodenska also studies extreme events such as financial market bubbles and crashes, and the domino effects that such events can exert on related global economic systems. More specifically, Vodenska’s research focuses on modeling of systemic risk propagation and spreading of global financial crises throughout interconnected financial and economic networks. As a principal investigator (PI) for Boston University, she has won interdisciplinary research grants awarded by the European Commission (EU) and the National Science Foundation (U.S.).

View Dr. Vodenska’s Curriculum Vitae 2016-03.

  • Big data analytics and complex economic systems:
    • Using big data, including intraday pricing and news streaming, to forecast global financial market returns
    • Investigating the relations between news sentiments and risk and return time series for global equities, foreign exchange, and international stock market indices
  • Modeling volatility dynamics in financial markets:
    • Evaluating predictive power of VIX implied volatility index on the S&P 500 volatility
    • Investigating market microstructure based on clustering analysis of short and long volatility return intervals
    • Exploring relationship between financial market volatility and Omori processes
  • Interdependent network theory and systemic risk modeling:
    • Using bipartite network approach to simulate toxic assets contribution to financial crisis propagation across the U.S., European, and Japanese bank networks
    • Modeling complex financial and economic systems such as bank liquidity networks and interdependent financial market networks
    • Investigating interdependencies in global financial networks using complex principal component analysis and community detection algorithms to study stock and foreign exchange financial markets
    • Studying European Sovereign debt crisis and modeling the relationships within the European bank–Government debt coupled (bi-partite) network
  • Corporate governance networks:
    • Identifying powerful directors in the U.S. corporate governance network
    • Using network centrality measures as indicators of influence

  • MET AD 713 – Derivative Securities and Markets
  • MET AD 717 – Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • MET AD 731 – Corporate Finance
  • MET AD 763 – Multinational Financial Management
  • MET MG 472 – Financial Concepts


Chitkushev, L., Zlateva, T., Vodenska, I., Zlatev, V. “Analytics Dashboard Parameters for Digital Learning Management Systems.” In Proceedings of the 10th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science. Albena, Bulgaria (July 4–6, 2014). [Accepted Paper at International Peer-Reviewed Conference]

Vodenska, I., and Chitkushev, L. “Innovative tools for teaching complex financial concepts.” In Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education. Fulda/Wurzburg, Germany, June 29–2 July 2, 2013.

Vodenska, I., Dehmami, N., Battiston, S., and Stanley, H. E. “Systemic Risk Propagation from Troubled European Economies to Global Banks and Investment Funds.” Workshop on Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents (WEHIA). Reykjavik, Iceland, June 18-22, 2013.

Vodenska, I., and Chitkushev, L. “Impact of Euro Adoption on Emerging European Countries.” Management Journal 8, no. 1 (2013): 47-67.

Huang, X., Vodenska, I., Havlin, S., Stanley, E. “Cascading Failures in Bi-partite Graphs: Model for Systemic Risk Propagation.” Nature’s Scientific Reports 3 (February 5, 2013).

Zhou, D., Vodenska, I., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H. E. “Model for Systemic Risk Propagation in Financial Networks.” Latsis Symposium 2012, Economics on the Move, Trends and Challenges from the Natural Sciences. ETH Zurich, Switzerland, September 11-14, 2012.

Chitkushev, L., Vodenska, I., and Zlateva, T. “Integrating Informatics into Graduate Finance Programs.” Proc. 7th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education (Sofia, Bulgaria, 2011).

Huang, X., Vodenska, I., Wang, F., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H. Eugene. “Identifying Influential Directors in the United States Corporate Governance Network.” Physical Review E-Journal (2011).

“Innovative Web-Based Tools for Finance Education.” Proc. of the 6th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science (Fulda/Munich, Germany, June 2010): 60–69.

Vodenska-Chitkushev, I., F.Z. Wang, P. Weber, K. Yamasaki, S. Havlin, and H.E. Stanley. “Comparison between volatility return intervals of the S&P 500 index and two common models.” The European Physical Journal B 61 (2008): 217-223.

Weber, P., F. Wang, I. Vodenska-Chitkushev, S. Havlin, and H.E. Stanley. “Relation between volatility correlation in financial markets and Omori processes occurring on all scales.” Physical Review E 76, no.1 (2007).

Vodenska-Chitkushev, I., F.Z. Wang, S. Havlin, and H.E. Stanley. “Global implications of Financial Institution investment strategies” (in preparation).

Vodenska-Chitkushev, I., X. Huang, S. Havlin, and H.E. Stanley. “Enterprise size and industry sector impact on the correlations between corporate profitability and executive compensations” (in preparation).

Vodenska-Chitkushev, I., S. Havlin, and H.E. Stanley. “Corporate Governance Networks: Relation between levels of connectivity of corporate board directors and their spheres of influence” (in preparation).


Chitkushev, L., Vodenska, I., and Zlateva, T. “Digital Learning Impact Factors: Student Satisfaction and Performance in Online Courses.” 2014 International Conference on Information and Education Technology, Melbourne, Australia, January 2-4, 2014. (Best Presentation Award)

Vodenska, I., and Chambers, W. “Relation between VIX option-based implied volatility index and S&P 500 index volatility”. 26th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference (AFBC), Sydney, Australia, December 16-19, 2013.

“Multiplex Financial Network Dependencies.” MIT Sloan School of Management. 5th Research Meeting of the Consortium for Systemic Risk Analytics (CSRA), Cambridge, Mass., December 12, 2013. Invited Talk.

“Global Financial Crises Effects on World Trade Relationships.” St. Petersburg State University, School of Economics. Conference on Evolution of International Trading System: Prospects and Challenges, St. Petersburg, Russia, October 31November 1, 2013. Invited Talk.

“Centrality Measures of Systemically Important Global Financial Markets: Eigenvector Approach.” Financial Networks and Systemic Risk Conference. Kyoto, Japan,  July 17-19, 2013. Invited Talk. Co-presented with Aoyama, H., Fujiwara, Y., Zhou, D., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H. E.

“Multiplex network interdependencies of currency markets and global stock market indices.” Horizons in Social Sciences. IMT Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, July 9-11, 2013. Invited Talk. Co-presented with Zhou, D., Dehmami N., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H.E.

“Effects of European Sovereign Debt Crises on Global Financial Markets.” Global Sustainable Finance Conference. Karlsruhe, Germany, July 4-5, 2013. Invited Talk.

“Cascading failures in institutional investor network caused by systemically important banks.” Complexity in Social Systems: From Data to Models (CSS). Cergy-Pontoise University, Paris, France, June 27-28, 2013. Co-presented with Zhou, D., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H. E.

“European sovereign debt (GIPSI) risk effects on global financial institutions.” International Conference on Network Science (NetSci) 2013. Royal Library, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 3-7, 2013. Co-presented with Dehmami, N., Havlin, S., and Stanley, H. E.

“Complexity and Systemic Risk Propagation in Global Economic Networks.” FuturICT Conference at Media Lab, MIT, Cambridge, Mass., February 13-14, 2013. Co-presented with Dehmami, N., and Stanley, H. E.

“Impact of Euro Adoption on Emerging European Countries.” Paper presented at the International Euro Conference on Emerging Markets, Slovenia, July 12-14, 2012.

“Cascading Failures in Bi-partite Graphs: Model for Systemic Risk Propagation.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Net and Web Sciences, Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., June 18-22, 2012.

“Integrative Technology-Enhanced Approaches (ITEA) to Teaching Complex Financial Concepts.” Boston University Instructional Innovation Conference, March 2, 2012. Co-presented with Chitkushev, L., and Burstein, L.

“Similarity of Investment Strategies and Global Financial Crisis.” Paper presented at the Conference on Perspectives and Challenges in Statistical Physics and Complex Systems for the Next Decade,  November 9-11, 2011, Natal, Brazil.

“Using Interactive Synchronous Tablet Tools in Online Finance Courses.” 3rd Instructional Innovation Conference, Boston University, Boston, Mass., March 2011.

“Innovative Web-Based Tools for Finance Education.” 6th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education, Fulda, Germany, June 26–29, 2010.

“Advantages of Blended Format for International Programs.” 2nd Annual FABDE Conference on Distance Education, Boston, Mass., May 11, 2010.

“A New Approach for Determining the Influence of Directors in U.S. Corporate Governance Network.” International Conference on Complex Network Science, Cambridge, Mass., May 10–14, 2010.

Scientific Journal Reviewer

Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination (JEIC) (2013–present)

PlosOne (2013–present)

Nature’s Scientific Reports (2013–present)

Physica A (2009–present)


2014–15: Principal Investigator (PI) for Boston University on National Science Foundation (NSF)-awarded grant titled: “Modeling Systemic Risk: Finding Precursors of Emerging Financial Crises.” EAGER Award number: SES‐1452061. Amount: $57,721.

2012–14: Principal Investigator (PI) for Boston University on European Commission-awarded grant titled “Forecasting Financial Crises.” FET Open Project ‘‘FOC’’ 255987 and ‘‘FOC-INCO’’ 297149. Amount: $3.5 million for the Consortium, of which $300,000 went to BU.