Aspiring quant in need of advice

Hey everyone, I am about to graduate from UCL with a Bachelor's in chemical engineering. I took courses in machine learning and reinforcement learning throughout my studies which have made me realize how much I enjoy the mathematical theory behind the various algorithms. A career as a quant seems to be a great blend of applications and theory, with mathematics and programming being used daily. However, I realize I lack the necessary background, especially in math to even start thinking about such a career path.

I have applied for an MSc in Mathematical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in Italy, but am unsure of whether I'll get in due to my lack of formal math trainining. The other option for me would be to get a BSc in math from a public university (Sapienza in Rome) in Italy (ranked quite high in math worldwide), with a strong focus on probability, numerics and programming. I am still quite young (20 years old), so the idea of doing a second Bachelors is not too taxing. Do you think this is a sound option or would I be wasting too much time? Is there any other way to fill in the gaps of my mathematical training?

Thank you for your help
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I would go for Sapienza for maths. Maths in Italy is strong.
And learn C++ ASAP, really.

Crepi il lupo.

// Ho studiato analisi numerica a Pavia alcuni anni fa.
 
I would go for Sapienza for maths. Maths in Italy is strong.
And learn C++ ASAP, really.

Crepi il lupo.

// Ho studiato analisi numerica a Pavia alcuni anni fa.
Thank you for the reply, I needed some reassurance on this because I’ve been going back and forth between the two.

Yes I’ll definitely look start learning C++ (they also offer courses in it at Sapienza).

Do you have any advice for independent projects or internships over the next 3 years?

Grazie per il tuo aiuto!!
 
Why not stay at UCL and do a masters in something like math fin, comp fin or machine learning? Engineering math is good enough and doing another bsc seems like a waste imo
 
Finishing my first year in a top quant finance MS program in the U.S. My closest friend in my program studied chemical engineering in undergrad and has done just fine throughout our first-year courses. I would consider applying straight for a financial engineering/quant finance MS if that is your end-goal — assuming you are willing and eager to learn, you will be fine w/ your current background.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
Thank you for the reply, I needed some reassurance on this because I’ve been going back and forth between the two.

Yes I’ll definitely look start learning C++ (they also offer courses in it at Sapienza).

Do you have any advice for independent projects or internships over the next 3 years?

Grazie per il tuo aiuto!!
Prego,
I can only say what technical projects might be interesting, e.g. PDE, Monte Carlo, ML
I have have some recent theses www.datasim.nl

For maths, my recent book is useful


Quantnet C++ is the best.

Learn LOTS of maths! Festina lente.
 
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I’m also a 3rd year at UCL but am doing Maths. I think you could do the integrated Masters (MSci) for your course and apply to Master’s programs next year?
From my understanding your Math background will probably be strong enough if you’re coming from an engineering background.

It seems that to the admissions teams of various programs, the classes you have taken matter a lot more than your actual degree. They just want to make sure you’ve done the prerequisites, and you probably have as a 3rd year Engineering major.

If I were you I wouldn’t do another BSc. Will be a little redundant and you can def into some good MFE or Financial Maths programs with your background.

Good luck!
 
You could also email the Comp Finance and Financial Maths programs at UCL and ask them if you can do their Masters next year. The application deadlines have passed but might be worth a try to just ask them whether they can make an exception …
 
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