I, The Absolute

Disquiet with equations continues

Posted by itheabsolute on October 31, 2005

Our ‘Marketing I’ exam was about math; our Operations exam was about math & statistics; our Investment Analysis was again about statistics, excel and math. Mind you, they were supposed to test our knowledge of something else. Now I am going through it all over again. Fixed Income. I have some idea of the concepts thanks to my experience in banking. But to no avail. I could not solve a single problem till I lost my sleep and googled hundreds of related pages. In the process, got tempted to buy all the books on fixed income just to understand what this symbol φ means. Even at the cost of repeating myself, I will dispense this – I am the kind of the guy who is comfortable most with words and least with equations. The idea is best captured in the concept of “poet” well explained in Snapshots from Hell . Now that I am already entangled in this labyrinth of equations, who else can I blame but myself? It was indeed my, cannot think of a better word what with the pain i went through today, sin to have picked up a course which deals with strange notions of kappa, lambda, and gamma.

However, much to both my amusement and chagrin, my IIT and CA friends – from a different world than I come – are grinding their books to understand what iota to the power of iota is. Because DB is coming to campus to pick up a guy who knows ‘which Greek letter to the power of which’ will generate higher profits on the trading floors of London or New York.

PS: Considering that the exam tested less of investment skills and more of math skills, I was not appalled to see my marks in the Investment Analysis exam. For the record, I registered my worst ever performance at ISB :-))

6 Responses to “Disquiet with equations continues”

  1. hi anon

    thanks for the nice words.

    thanks for taking time to explain. iota is a greek word for non-quant people like me. amongst us there are a lot of brilliant / quant guys who are smart to figure out what these greek letters mean in the world of fin.

    let me assure you that despite your explanation i still cannot figure out what it means because in the world i live in -1 has no relevance because there are no -1 things and a square root of it is something beyond my imagination 🙂

    all the best for your b-school journey


  2. Anonymous said

    I find your blog very interesting (I am not a ISB student though). I am heading to another bschool in India for the class starting April 2006. I am sure the smart ISBians would have figured what is iota to the power of iota is.. but just in case someone needs help. This might be useful to solve:
    iota = square root of -1 (I hope that is what you mean). iota is also equal to cos(pi/2) + i sin(pi/2) which inturn equals e to the power of (iota * pi/2).

    pi = the greek pi (as in 180 degrees)

    Given this and that iota * iota=-1, one can say iota to the power of iota is equal to (e to the power of minus pi/2)

  3. hi anon

    yup. the highest mark was 92/100. remember there are haves and havenots.


    i will write about why IB does not interest me a little later. pls bear.

    thanks. wish u the same


  4. Paa"ji" said

    Diwali wishes to you, Vijay

  5. Indranil said

    I know that you are not applying to DB for 2 reasons. Firstly, the role doesn’t suit your profile & secondly you are not interested in IB. Plz let me know why you are not interested in IB.

  6. Anonymous said

    Did anyone do well in the test at all?

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