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Faculty Insights

New WSB Faculty: Meet Assistant Professor Ivy Feng

By Accounting & Information Systems

October 23, 2020

The Wisconsin School of Business welcomes Ivy Feng, an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems. Originally from Changzhou, China, Feng received her BS in finance from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, an MS in quantitative and computational finance from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MS in accounting from Georgia State University. She holds a PhD in accounting from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Feng shares her thoughts on joining WSB and the University of Wisconsin–Madison community below.

WSB: How did you get into your field of research?
Feng: I fell in love with accounting when I was a financial engineering student at Georgia Tech. I took several accounting courses as electives and got really interested in it. I found my love for research when I was pursuing my accounting master’s degree at Georgia State University. I really enjoy the freedom to ask whatever questions interest me and the opportunities to look for answers to those questions on my own.

WSB: What attracted you to UW–Madison?
Feng: I got inspired and encouraged to pursue a career in accounting research when I was taking my Intermediate Accounting II class at Georgia State University. The course was taught by Laura Swenson (PhD ’12), a WSB graduate, so I always feel there’s a special bonding between Madison and me. When I was looking for a job, I was attracted to the diversified and collegial research environment at the accounting department here. I’m glad to be a member of the accounting department at WSB.

WSB: What was your first visit to campus like? 
Feng: My first visit actually happened six years ago when I was applying to the PhD program. The interview went great. But the weather was…let’s just say it was a cold winter and I came from Atlanta so I wasn’t prepared.

WSB: What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with?
Feng: I want my students to understand that accounting is more than just numbers and algebras. Rather, accounting is the language that people communicate within the business world.

WSB: Is there a way your field of study can help the world endure and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the health, finances, and lifestyle of so many?
Feng: During the pandemic, a lot of firms are affected. There are papers in my field that look at the firm-level exposure to epidemic diseases such as COVID-19 or other SARS viruses (Hassan et al. 2020). I think a deeper understanding of firms’ risk exposure from the pandemic would help firms better navigate through the crisis. It would also help investors and creditors make more informed capital allocation decisions.

WSB: Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea?  
Feng: As a researcher, my work looks at how accounting information is produced and used in the business world. It informs people about the economic determinants and consequences of the production and dissemination of accounting information. As a lecturer, I teach my students how to apply accounting information in real-life scenarios. I illustrate to them how accounting information is interpreted and used by accountants, auditors, investors, and managers. I think both of my roles are related to the Wisconsin Idea that “education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.”

WSB: Do you have favorite hobbies or other interests?
Feng: Cooking, baking, and reading.