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Commencement Address, American University in Beirut, 2016

Full speech here: Commencement Address, American University in Beirut, 2016

Greed and fear are teachers. I was like people with addictions who have a below average intelligence but were capable of the most ingenious tricks to procure their drugs. When there was risk on the line, suddenly a second brain in me manifested itself and these theorems became interesting. When there is fire, you will run faster than in any competition. Then I became dumb again when there was no real action. Furthermore, as a trader the mathematics we used was adapted to our problem, like a glove, unlike academics with a theory looking for some application. Applying math to practical problems was another business altogether; it meant a deep understanding of the problem before putting the equations on it. So I found getting a doctorate after 12 years in quantitative finance much, much easier than getting simpler degrees.

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