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Books: From Physics to Finance

Came across a review for the book – “My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance” by Emanuel Derman. It apparently talks about the transition of a Physicist to a Wall Street Quant. Apart from a personal story, it talks about “the new revolution in the financial markets with engineers slicing and dicing risk like quantitative sushi chefs”.

Hopefully, the book will give me some rare explanations into why Engineers turn Financial / Risk Analysts – to me its a natural step to take, just that nobody else seems to get it! Now, I just have to keep my fingers crossed that the bookshop assistant will be kind enough to order an English version of the book for me.

Posted in Books on May 9, 2005


6 Responses

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  1. Dinesh says

    I agree with you that engineers going into quantitative analysis in such an intersting path to tread.

    I was one yr your junior at NTU. I don’t expect you to know me though!

    I’ve read the book and it’s definitely a very good read. I’m planning to do financial engineering next yr!!

  2. Surya says

    Hi Dinesh,

    Thanks for the comment..has strengthened my resolve to read the book..

    Engineering to Finance – Welcome to the club =)

  3. Pramod says

    Its a nice book I think – I read first half – second half didnt quite keep me gripped!

    Thinking about it, in INdia, there isn’t much of a chance for someone academically good and who wants to do a career in anything other than medecine – to do but engineering. I mean its not really a choice to take up BCom or BA if you are good at studies – though it is changing of late I guess.

    Then again finance – it has become so complicated – and my personal opinion – moved farther away from reality – that you need to be able to grapple with complex mathematics – who else can do it better than engineers – and then add the money element!

    But after moving into the finance field – the moment I cracked Black and Scholes equation, I knew finance was not my field (perhaps you should remove this comment – I dont want my future employers to see what I think of derivatives…ha ha ha!).

    By the way have you read the book by George Soros – The Alchemy of Finance – I found it rather good – but may be only for those not into Finance!

  4. Surya says

    At least in India, maybe because its not the top choice to take up BCom or BA, you will find a lot of engineers in banks – esp in the quant departments. here in Germany, its so different – engineers are meant to construct buildings or machines or design IC chips and so on, and most of them do it..

    As long as you cracked the Black and Scholes, I think you will be fine with the employers..;o)

    Thanks for the recomm. havent read it yet..the controversies surrounding Soros have always intrigued me, maybe its time to pick up one of his books.

  5. surreal reality says

    bleh! and you know why..

  6. Surya says

    haha..i sure do..=)



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