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My Life As a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance - Emanuel Derman



Essay - Reflection - Emanuel Derman was one of the first physicists to move to Wall Street.
[Livre en Anglais]

Emanuel Derman was one of the first physicists to move to Wall Street, and his career paralleled the growth of quantitative trading over the past twenty years. In My Life as a Quant, he traces his transformation from ambitious young scientist to managing director and head of the renowned Quantitative Strategies group at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Derman's tale recounts his adventures with quants, traders and other high fliers on Wall Street as he became the best-known quant in the business. He describes the struggles of research and his interactions with an assorted cast of famous scientists. He relates his impressions of some of the most creative minds on Wall Street, including Fischer Black, with whom he collaborated on the widely used Black-Derman-Toy model of interest rates. Throughout his story he reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets and the people that inhabit them.

"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."
--Paul A. Samuelson, MIT, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, 1970
"Not only a delightful memoir, but one full of information, both about people and their enterprise. I never thought that I would be interested in quantitative financial analysis, but reading this book has been a fascinating education."
--Jeremy Bernstein, author of Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma

"This wonderful autobiography takes place in that special time when scientists discovered Wall Street and Wall Street discovered them. It is elegantly written by a gifted observer who was a pioneering member of the new profession of financial engineering, with an evident affection both for finance as a science and for the scientists who practice it. Derman’s portrait of how the academics brought their new financial science to the world of business and forever changed it and, especially, his descriptions of the late and extraordinary genius Fischer Black who became his mentor, reveal a surprising humanity where it might be least expected. Who should read this book? Anyone with a serious interest in finance and everyone who simply wants to enjoy a good read."
--Stephen Ross, Franco Modigliani Professor of Finance and Economics, Sloan School, MIT

" … a deep and elegant exploration by a thinker who moved from the hardest of all sciences (physics) to the softest of the soft (finance). Derman is a different class of thinker; unlike most financial economists, he bears no physics envy and focuses on exploring the real intuitions behind the mechanisms themselves. In addition to stories and portraits, the book documents, in vivid detail, the methods of knowledge transfer. I know of no other book that bridges the two cultures. Finally, I am happy to discover that Derman has a third career: he is a writer."
--Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness

"The quintessential quarky quant, Emanuel Derman has it all. Physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and poet blend together to produce a narrative that all financial engineers will find worth reading."
--Mark Rubinstein, Paul Stephens Professor of Applied Investment Analysis, University of California, Berkeley

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