11 quotes from My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance: ‘If you decide you don’t have to get A’s, you can learn an enormous amount in coll. “Derman’s memoir of his transition from mathematical physicistto expert finance whiz at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers readslike a novel, but tells a lot. Last week I was in a bookstore and ran across a new book by Emanuel Derman called My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance.

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Our facial manipulations bore increasingly less resemblance to anything like a real smile; each of our reciprocated gestures was a caricature, a Greek theatrical mask signaling friendliness.

Or is quantitativefinance merely flawed thinking masquerading as science, a bravewhistling in the dark? My Life as a Quant is a unique first-person story and aperceptive and revealing exploration of lifw quantitative side ofWall Street.

He tells the story of his passage between two worlds; he recounts qiant adventures with physicists, quants, options traders, and other highfliers on Wall Street; he analyzes the incompatible personas of traders and quants; and he meditates on the dissimilar natures of knowledge in physics and finance. Here’s how he failed to work up his nerve to ask a Columbia professor to be his adviser: He quotes Blake and discusses Schopenhauer.

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance by Emanuel Derman

The prologue immediately becomes quite technical, but then the next few chapters are very general and gentle. This autobiography is not the most dramatic one, but surely the very frank one. He does demonstrate that brainpower can be lucrative on Wall Street while fostering abstruse humor.

Reflections on Physics and Finance. The particulars of the physics theories were a bit over my head, but I grasped what he was writing about enough to understand the overall points. Kelly and Paul were successful interest-rate swap traders.

He was merely very smart in a field dominated by geniuses, so he kicked around from one low-paying research job to another. Published September 16th by Wiley first published The former academic wasnot immune to the usual Wall Street temptation of leveraging abetter deal at another firm. Perhaps it was that, at least during certain years, grad students could be drafted, but if you were a postdoc, there was some way to get out of it. Read reviews that mention wall street goldman sachs bell labs quantitative finance life as a quant physics and finance fischer black salomon brothers columbia university emanuel derman financial engineering south dermab graduate student must read financial models nobel prize particle physics graduate school career path financial markets.


Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics. The theoretical purist finds a measure of contentment in contributing to the imprecise world of finance — “”intuiting, inventing, or concocting approximate laws and patterns. Derman’s memoir of his transition from mathematical physicist to expert lifee whiz at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers reads like a novel, but tells a lot about brains applied to making money grow.

References to this book Isoquantal Capital Modulation: The Black-Derman-Toy model, fromallowed trading desks to come up with prices for Treasury bond options based on math rather than guesswork. He begins a story inwhen he arrived in New York city from South Africa as a bewildered, rather lonely 20 year old. If I had reviewed this in when the book came out, I would stop here.

Dec 01, Steve Gross rated it liked it. The man removes the outer condom and sleeps with the second woman. Inwhen so many young people of his generation were heading off to hang out at Woodstock, Derman admits: I was happy that he found ilfe also I would say that Derman is too modest – not every theoretical physicist would have his facility and intuition for finance.

Derman was one of the heroes of risk management serman the s, constantly pushing at the boundaries of what was possible, coming up with ever more sophisticated and ingenious structures.

Physics and finance redux. Feb 19, Muriel Fang rated it it was amazing. I saw him lfie towards me down one of the long dark, old-fashioned Pupin corridors, and immediately turned towards the nearest stairwell and went up one floor to avoid him. He is clearly a az person and I enjoyed his description of how he migrated from an academician in physics to a practitioner in finance. The world of industry — working for money rather than love.


A book that describes the career of one of the most successful “quants” on Wall Street. Amazon Restaurants Food lkfe from local restaurants. Black, he writes, “wasgenuinely in love with the idea of equilibrium.

For someone qhant me a nerd it’s inspirational. Open Preview See a Problem? He was able to make some contributions of his own. He would reciprocate similarly with a sort of nervous curling of the lips. Emmanuel Derman is wise and highly respected in the quant world. Nonetheless I feel that the book is inadequate. As we arrived, my father-in-law somberly announced to us that a small bomb had exploded in one of the physics department’s bathrooms.

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance

This chapter, entitled “In thePenal Colony” – a reference to a Kafka short story of the same name- is a tale of corporate woe. Like everyone else, I despise this despicable trend. But Derman got in at the ground floor of financial engineering, orquantitative finance, and spent two decades exploring dermxn almostinfinite potential and complexity of derivative products andsophisticated risk management.

Some people have said that the ending part was rather lackluster, I agree, but I don’t really judge on that. Sep 10, Nikos Skantzos rated it liked it. Towards the later part of the first half, I was starting uqant wonder when he would get to the finance part of his life, but once I got there I appreciated the lead-up. The financial parts, though, left me pretty lost.