- Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- M.A., Yonsei University
- M.E., Beijing Normal University
- FinTech and AI in finance and accounting
- Information disclosures, corporate finance, and equity investing
- Analyzing unstructured corporate disclosures (text and image data) for investor and corporate decision-making
Dr. Cao is an associate professor with joint appointment in the Accounting and Finance Departments at the Robinson School of Business. His work includes the development of a research program focused on how unstructured big data and emerging AI technologies can help guide stock investment decisions as well as executives’ corporate decisions. Because most corporate reporting and disclosure data are unstructured and high-dimensional, such as text and images, this research topic is crucial for disclosure research in the field of accounting and Fintech, corporate finance & investment research in the field of finance.
His research has been published in premier journals in finance, accounting, and computer science, including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, and IEEE Computer. His collaborative studies with PhD students have been published in the Journal of Accounting Research and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis as well. He serves as an ad hoc associate editor at Management Science.
Dr. Cao’s research has been featured in the Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Guardian, and Quartz. He has been invited to give keynote addresses at multiple conferences for both academic and industrial audiences. His work has been presented at major research universities, including Harvard University and the University of Michigan as well as at national regulatory and policy-focused advisory agencies including the SEC, the Federal Reserve Bank, the NBER, and PCAOB. His research has also drawn attention and workshop invitations from leading financial and industrial AI firms such as State Street Boston, Grant Thornton, Wolfe Research, Ant Financial, Baidu, DataYes, JD.com and Founder Securities.
Dr. Cao co-chaired the 2020 GSU-RFS conference on Fintech and Machine Learning. The conference was sponsored by the Review of Financial Studies (dual submission) and Georgia State University. The conference attracts an average of 150 high-quality submissions annually in the area of emerging technologies from preeminent scholars in both finance and accounting. (See more at https://sites.google.com/view/seancao/home).
Dr. Cao’s passion for research carries over into his teaching. He is committed to giving students access to the most cutting-edge learning material to help them achieve career success. He was ranked in the top 10 percent for outstanding teaching university-wide at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At GSU, he teaches Ph.D. seminars that cover classical capital market research and emerging technologies, as well as undergraduate courses in financial accounting with a strong data analytics component.
Dr. Cao has been invited by multiple major research universities to teach short-term doctoral seminars on emerging technologies in finance and accounting. He also runs a tutorial blog (https://space.bilibili.com/2078445811) site (Bilibili ID: Seancao_ or YouTube)that aims to help scholars outside of computer science smoothly adapt machine learning to finance and accounting research.