“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. In My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street.

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He is a co-author of Black—Derman—Toy modelone of the first interest-rate models, and the Derman—Kani local volatility or implied tree model, a model consistent with the volatility smile. Later, he obsesses over leaving pure physics to do applied research at Bell Laboratories.

Towards the later part of the first half, I was starting to wonder when he would get to the finance part of his life, but once I got there I appreciated the lead-up. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

My Life as a Quant : Emanuel Derman :

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Derman’s memoir of his transition from mathematical physicist to expert finance whiz at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers reads like a novel, but tells a lot about brains applied to making money grow.

Rehired by Goldman Sachsfrom to he led the Quantitative Strategies group in the Equities division, which pioneered the study of local volatility models and the volatility smile. Nor is there much room in the great financial houses for anything that smacks of the amateur spirit. The surprisingly well-written autobiography of a South African physicist “doomed to be just very smart in a field dominated by geniuses” who goes into finance and eventually becomes MD and head of Goldman’s highly-regarded quantitative strategies group.

This biography is special in that he tells his life story, but also explains the models he worked on in simple, clear prose. Reflections on Physics and Finance.


Please try again later. Popular passages Page 1 – The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction.

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

Book ratings by Goodreads. Manners and mores on Wall Street. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.

Derman was charged with developing the famous Black-Scholes option pricing model so it could be applied to bonds, an urgent task in the more volatile markets of the post oil shock world. He was one of the earliest particle theorists to do this, but many others have followed him there in recent years, some of whom are regular commenters here.

The glory days of particle physics. Since it was premature for formal arrangements and since I was naturally reticent and shy, I simply began to greet him very politely whenever our paths crossed. To ask other readers questions about My Life as a Quantplease sign up. Derman’s first degree in physics was from Cape Town university, but he had come to Columbia determined to make his name. My Life as a Quant is a unique first-person story and a perceptive and revealing exploration of the quantitative side of Wall Street.

Can they do the same for finance? But, writes Derman, “When you do physics you’re playing againstGod; in finance, you’re playing against God’s creatures.

Is it reasonable to treat theeconomy and its markets as a complex machine? Proudly powered by WordPress. Published September 16th by Wiley first published And he is not lying about wasting his youth.

Ironically, the best and most collegial academic atmosphere he experienced was not in a university quamt at Goldman Sachs. One thing that frustrated me a little was that the pace of the text changes throughout the book.

He lives in New York City. Apr 17, Dafne rated it it was amazing.

Should there be parallel universes, there’s definitely one in which I am studying in the States, another one in which I am studying Physics PhD or not. My Life as a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street’s Elite.


My Life as a Quant : Reflections on Physics and Finance

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. New York CityUnited States. Samuelson, MIT, Nobel Laureate in EconomicSciences, “Elegantly written by a gifted observer who was a pioneeringmember of the new profession of financial engineering with anevident affection both for finance as a science and for thescientists who practice it.

Thank you for your feedback. Indecisive, introspective, awkward, and sometimes morose, memoirist Emanuel Derman comes across like a character in a Saul Bellow novel. Not the most insightful of memoirs, this was more of a catalogue of professional achievements. The part when he had to live apart from his wife and new-born son was indeed saddening as well.

Home Frequently Asked Questions. Here’s how he failed to work up his nerve to ask a Columbia professor to be his adviser: Getting out of graduate school, only half-alive. After all, facing all the pressure in the killing battle like financial world, we do need a soft ground. They deduced the “”local”” volatility of a conventional option at each possible stock price and at each moment up to expiration.

Write a customer review. The book also captures the period of how financial engineering b Very interesting book that I would recommend to read to anyone interested in finance as well as individuals interested in transitioning to financial engineering world.

Page by page, Derman details his adventures in this field–analyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Finally, the second man dons the second condom over the one he is already wearing, and sleeps with the second woman, who again only experiences a condom she has already touched.

View all 5 comments. Does anyone know about his early career? In the tradition emanufl the idiosyncratic memoir, My Life As a Quant is a grab bag of the author’s interests.