Hons at the University of Cape Town , and received a Ph. Between and he did research in theoretical particle physics at the University of Pennsylvania , the University of Oxford , Rockefeller University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Rehired by Goldman Sachs , from to he led the Quantitative Strategies group in the Equities division, which pioneered the study of local volatility models and the volatility smile. He was appointed a managing director of Goldman Sachs in He is the author of numerous articles on quantitative finance on the topics of volatility and the nature of financial modeling. Since , Derman has written many articles pointing out the essential difference between models in physics and models in finance.
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Jan 25, John rated it liked it I picked up this book at the library because it was suggested by Goodreads or Amazon I forget which as a book I might like to read. Electrons must move according to the principles of quantum electrodynamics? This guy, it I picked up this book at the library because it was suggested by Goodreads or Amazon I forget which as a book I might like to read. This guy, it appears, has got things backward if he thinks nature is somehow required to follow the models science has devised to describe nature.
Nature does what it does without any consideration of our attempts to describe it. The models developed by scientists, wonderful as they may be, are not rules that nature must obey and anyone who believes otherwise is kidding himself. Then on pages he wrote, "One summer in the early seventies, during the student protests against the American invasion of Cambodia, Eva [his wife] and I went camping in the Catskills mountains with Chang-Li and his wife.
After several days in a tent, cut off from any news, we went to meet my in-laws who were vacationing in a nearby hotel. It is difficult for me to comprehend the mind of a person who would rejoice in the bombing of his own department at a university. But as the book unfolded, it appeared that Derman was able to grow out of his adolescent arrogance and attitudes. I have to admire him for being willing to describe his early experiences with such honesty. He is clearly a brilliant person and I enjoyed his description of how he migrated from an academician in physics to a practitioner in finance.
And I was delighted to see in the final chapter that he understands that man-devised models are not rules that nature or financial markets follow but rather attempts to describe what happens in nature and financial markets. Though the material was fascinating, it was like listening to a boring professor -- dry, bland, and ultimately, self-defeating.
The one thing this book did have that was helpful is lots of context. We learn not only what Derman as a quant does, but why, and what the business context is for it. He also clearly has a passion for explaining theories clearly as opposed to high-brow. Overall, This book was Emanuel Derman Eman dryly taking us through his life as a theoretical physicist turned quant. Overall, a good book, but boring. I would recommend How I Became a Quant if you enjoy this kind of material.
In the first half, he reveals himself to be an incredibly arrogant physicist. Full disclosure - in the book , Derman expresses scorn for both solid state physicists and experimentalists -- I myself belong to both of these categories. In the second half which addresses his financial career, his arrogance is not as noticeable, so either he was actually humbled by his change in career, as he describes Not the most insightful of memoirs, this was more of a catalogue of professional achievements.
In the second half which addresses his financial career, his arrogance is not as noticeable, so either he was actually humbled by his change in career, as he describes in the book, or I have the benefit of not being in his profession.
In the last chapter, he struggles futilely to make philosophical statements about physics and financial math and their respective abilities to describe and predict the tangible world. Despite references to God, he fails utterly in this attempt.
My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance
My Life as a Quant