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For those who Planning to work at Asia

To Denis,
I think your confusion about china is very cute. I guess you will never find the truth unless you try to understand the real work that is going on in China, and do not assuming it with a western system.
I'm not from west, but from former USSR block.

I grew up in China, I found many things I saw are nothing but confusion and I still do now. But the fact is, institutions never stop advancing their technology and challenge, and they are fast.
Ask anyone who lived during USSR times (now CIS).
Everyone though that that union will live forever.
During those time we had great mathematicians and we still have.
You only plan to have. But you can't plan to have geniuses.
Also nobody knows will the trend preserve.
Keep in mind that your economic grow may stop one day.


So my conclusion for you is, there are many greatest mathematicians out there who are not famous, and perhaps you will never know them.
There is a difference between great and good.
I will back to Grisha Perelman. Here is his fotograph
grigorii-perelman.jpg

he looks like homeless, he says that he has only a table and a chair and lives with his mother. he doesn't need anything else. So how did he become famous?
did he promote himself? his works made him famous.

One thing for sure, university certainly is not where real academias lived and worked.
What you see is often not truth in China, this is my opinion from experience.
As for quant in china, I am sure there isn't many famous quant out there since people does not tend to classify them as quant. But the truth is there are many people that are fabulous at math, finance, programming and engineering and they can do the job.
fabulous not equals to have great works - that is the difference.

If you wanna talk about names and titles and branding etc., there isn't much in China.
No, I want to see great results

But do not assume there isn't such people and resources in reality.
It's not my assuming. In fact, I know many Chinese whom I may say thanks hundred times.
 
For getting a job, why does it matter if China has well-known mathematicians?

It matters. Will you work with Derman or with average mathematician together. If you live N.Y. you may attend great conferences, but usually not the case in Asia.
 
@DominicConnor
it's an interesting article. I'm quite surprised to know that there are more quants in NZ than Japan in your database. could u share with us roughly how many quants are there in different Asian cities?
 
Yes, it's something of a cliché to suggest that Asia is the place to be for financial services professionals and that banker bashing in the UK means more and more people are hopping on a plane to Hong Kong or Singapore.

However, when it comes to the IT in finance space, it's less about being pushed out of the UK and more about being lured across to Asia. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in attracting City-based techies has always been the pay disparity – and this gap is now closing.

"A number of financial services organisations are rolling out huge technology projects in Asia, and there's something of a skills-gap in the local market," says Bennie. "Understandably, they're looking to the UK and offering increasingly lucrative package to persuade people to make the move."
Our predictions for financial technology recruitment in 2011 | News | www.eFinancialCareers.co.uk
 
he looks like homeless, he says that he has only a table and a chair and lives with his mother. he doesn't need anything else. So how did he become famous?
did he promote himself? his works made him famous.

His work made him famous in scientific circles.

What made him famous to the general public was his refusal of two most prestigious awards alongside with his odd behavior.

And again, there are mathematicians whose work had, at the very least, as much influence on the development of modern mathematics.

You can not deny the fact that two times in a row the most prestigious award in mathematics was given to guys from Asia (Terence Tao and Ngo Bao Chao).


Now, getting back to the topic discussed (quants from Asia), I suggest you analyze the most recent literature on quant finance.
...I have a bunch of books on my desk...let's see, among the most recent ones I have "Demystifying exotic products" by Chia Tan (quant who works for the same bank I do), "A practical guide to Quant finance interviews" by Xinfeng Zhou, and "Quantitative analysis, derivatives modelling, ...." by Yi Tang and Bin Li.
and these just the books that I have, I am sure there are many more :)

1) all names sound Asian to me
2) going back some 10 years ago I don't remember seeing that many book on quant finance written by guys with Asian names.
 
To Denis,

I appreciate your overwhelming passion about great great people, and most most genius. I used to be like you. In fact, it is nothing to do with you unless you are one of them. So be practical, not illusionary man. There isn't so much superman-type or glory, magic stuff in this world. You only see it because you made it in your mind. AND OMG, who said about planning, you should pay a visit to China, and see how economy works for yourself. Why people tends to classify as capitalism or socialism as mutually exclusive objects? Why couldn't there be an hybrid that inherit all goods and prevent bad from the both?
 
hold on your horses!! AFAIK, Terence Tao was born and raised in Australia. That is not China or Asia. I don't think he qualified for this little debate of yours.

This is true. Most of the well-known scientists with Chinese ethic are somehow have connection with the US. I believe it is the system of the country that matters. Talented people need freedom for them to blossom. However given the massive population of China (it is a common mistake to think China has always been a huge population country, it wasn't, at least it shouldn't be in the billion; The massive population of China today is a result of great policies ordered by great leaders in China in the past), no one would expect most of them are sharp. Imagine you are surrounded by average (or, may I speak, mostly under average) people everyday and seeing silly and unfair things all the time, you will agree that it's probably not the best way to develop one's intelligence and personality. It isn't a secret or needs deep analysis. People are aware of that but how to change it is another matter.

In some sense I understand why Denis Serg has been complaining. Together with his obsession with "great" and "famous" people it just makes things worse for him. For those who wants to move to China or HK, or wider part of Asia, you shouldn't expect too much and better think of it as an adventure rather than an opportunity. Change takes long time especially for countries. Although becoming better or worse no one can tell.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Most of the well-known scientists with Chinese ethic are somehow have connection with the US. I believe it is the system of the country that matters.

Dr. Tao was not educated in China. As I say before, he was born and raised in Australia. He is an Ausie (Ausie Ausie Ausie Oy Oy Oy!!!). I just wanted to make the clarification because his name has been discussed in this thread as if he was from China. He is not.

The Wikipedia page has more details
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_tao

Terence Chi-Shen Tao FRS (Chinese: 陶哲軒, simplified Chinese: 陶哲轩) (born July 17, 1975, Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian mathematician ...

OTOH, Grisha Perelman is from Russia.
 
Many people contemplating a move to Asia for work do not take into account the importance of a support system. If you grew up in any part of Asia, working there is "closer to home" and many chronic problems like traffic, air pollution, etc is very easy to ignore. There are family, friends nearby whom you can rely on.

For the rest, it's a lot of new things to discover. I often think people who grow up in Asia have an easier time adapting to Western society while Westerners have the hardest time in Asia. Outside of work, many locals don't speak English so you are limited to areas where expats hang out.

So let just set some realistic expectation for people who want to move to Asia, hoping to jump right into the "hottest market" and be the local king. Truth is far from it.
 
Dr. Tao was not educated in China. As I say before, he was born and raised in Australia. He is an Ausie (Ausie Ausie Ausie Oy Oy Oy!!!). I just wanted to make the clarification because his name has been discussed in this thread as if he was from China. He is not.

The Wikipedia page has more details
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_tao

1) He is Chinese by the way of ethnic background.
2) His was educated primarily by both of his parents (at one point his mom gave up work to concentrate on his education....you won't find this information on the Wiki though LOL ). And both of his parents were from China (Hong Kong).
 
Dr. Tao was not educated in China. As I say before, he was born and raised in Australia. He is an Ausie (Ausie Ausie Ausie Oy Oy Oy!!!). I just wanted to make the clarification because his name has been discussed in this thread as if he was from China. He is not.

The Wikipedia page has more details
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_tao


OTOH, Grisha Perelman is from Russia.

May be the quote I used was misleading. I didn't mean to specifically addressing Tao when I wrote that. What I meant to express is that there is higher potential for talented people to standout if there is right environment for them. BTW Tao obtained his PhD in Princeton and showed great talent in very young age.
 
1) He is Chinese by the way of ethnic background.
2) His was educated primarily by both of his parents (at one point his mom gave up work to concentrate on his education....you won't find this information on the Wiki though LOL ). And both of his parents were from China (Hong Kong).

Are you talking about DNA? I work with UK guys and I start to think like British.
That's is the difference. Australian or American born Chinese absolutely different from Chinese from China.

Now, getting back to the topic discussed (quants from Asia), I suggest you analyze the most recent literature on quant finance.
...I have a bunch of books on my desk...let's see, among the most recent ones I have "Demystifying exotic products" by Chia Tan (quant who works for the same bank I do), "A practical guide to Quant finance interviews" by Xinfeng Zhou, and "Quantitative analysis, derivatives modelling, ...." by Yi Tang and Bin Li.
and these just the books that I have, I am sure there are many more
Anyone with average FE skills may write a book, but will those book be famous in 50 years? Kolmogorov's works will, and they not only used in FE.


Also I haven't noted anything about Vietnamese before.
I see that you just landed in HK and it's your first time in Asia, while I live here during a long time. Anyway, there is big difference between Chinese and Vietnamese.
a) Vietnamese don't like when we call them Chinese
b) By statistic, quality of Vietnamese good is much better than Chinese, they are more hard-working guys. I work with Vietnamese guys - difference is huge.
c) They do not sing praises to Vietnam like Chinese to China.
 
Are you talking about DNA? I work with UK guys and I start to think like British.
That's is the difference. Australian or American born Chinese absolutely different from Chinese from China.

Anyone with average FE skills may write a book, but will those book be famous in 50 years? Kolmogorov's works will, and they not only used in FE.

Also I haven't noted anything about Vietnamese before.
I see that you just landed in HK and it's your first time in Asia, while I live here during a long time. Anyway, there is big difference between Chinese and Vietnamese.
a) Vietnamese don't like when we call them Chinese
b) By statistic, quality of Vietnamese good is much better than Chinese, they are more hard-working guys. I work with Vietnamese guys - difference is huge.
c) They do not sing praises to Vietnam like Chinese to China.

you need DNA test to convince yourselfs than a person both of whose parents are Chinese has Chinese ethnice background? wow....you are a one stubborn dude LOL

I suggest you stop discussing mathematicians or anything that has to do with math as you seem to have a very shallow knowledge of the subject (providing links to wiki and throwing around names doesn't count as one )

as for me, I did not just land in HK. I've been living in Asia for 3 years (prior to that 4 years in UK, and 5 years in US).

...anyhow, the fact that you always try to shift discussion to a personal level tells me that you are running out of arguments.

I will stop arguing at this point now :)
 

alain

Older and Wiser
1) He is Chinese by the way of ethnic background.

that doesn't help your point. For all terms and purposes he is Australian. My wife is chinese born in the US. She is american. I understand your point of view in this discussion but Dr. Tao doesn't really qualify as Chinese.

2) His was educated primarily by both of his parents (at one point his mom gave up work to concentrate on his education....you won't find this information on the Wiki though LOL ). And both of his parents were from China (Hong Kong).

unless he was home schooled in the US sense (don't even smell the inside of a classroom), his education was in Australian schools probably heavily influenced by his parents.
 
Are you talking about DNA? I work with UK guys and I start to think like British.
That's is the difference. Australian or American born Chinese absolutely different from Chinese from China.


Anyone with average FE skills may write a book, but will those book be famous in 50 years? Kolmogorov's works will, and they not only used in FE.


Also I haven't noted anything about Vietnamese before.
I see that you just landed in HK and it's your first time in Asia, while I live here during a long time. Anyway, there is big difference between Chinese and Vietnamese.
a) Vietnamese don't like when we call them Chinese
b) By statistic, quality of Vietnamese good is much better than Chinese, they are more hard-working guys. I work with Vietnamese guys - difference is huge.
c) They do not sing praises to Vietnam like Chinese to China.

I understand your frustration with Chinese "modern culture". However I am sure there are many talented people out there, some of them lucky, some of them not that lucky, and these above average people are waiting or already actively pursuing opportunities outside their radius. From what I have observed, I think the same, or at least similar things, can be said for Russians (I don't mean about the culture as I don't know much), for I noticed many good scientists from Russia have moved out to the West as well. In this modern world with such easy mobility it is a bit obscure to confine oneself to a specific place or origin however.
 
that doesn't help your point. For all terms and purposes he is Australian. My wife is chines born in the US. She is american. I understand your point of view in this discussion but Dr. Tao doesn't really qualify as Chinese.



unless he was home schooled in the US sense (don't even smell the inside of a classroom), his education was in Australian schools probably heavily influenced by his parents.

I also suport this point. It does matter where he live and people around him.
Also ThinkDifferent hasn't understood my statement and started to become unfriendly.
No point to continue any talks.
 
that doesn't help your point.

saying that Tao was Chinese by nationality was not my point. my points are

1) Asians have the same intellectual capacities as any other nation

2) during the last decade or so there is a clear trend of more "Asian" presence in all sorts of sciences.

I find it difficult to understand why anyone would argue with that.
 
unless he was home schooled in the US sense (don't even smell the inside of a classroom), his education was in Australian schools probably heavily influenced by his parents.

yes, he was home schooled (range of subjects in math and computing) at some point.
I recently read a very interesting article about him.
It's a biographical account of Tao by a researcher specializing in exceptionally gifted (math) children.
It's an exciting read, with fully documented questions and answers by Tao when he was a kid.

http://wenku.baidu.com/view/a7b8a94efe4733687e21aaad.html

I encourage everyone who has children to read it :)
 
I also suport this point. It does matter where he live and people around him.
Also ThinkDifferent hasn't understood my statement and started to become unfriendly.
No point to continue any talks.

I feel bad for the thread starter that the topic went off a ridiculous tangent. All this debate about minute details -- it reminds me sometimes why I want to bite off the heads of quants I've worked with.

If I have to choose between a Chinese, Russian, American, or [insert country] quant -- I'd choose the one who can get the job done correctly and quickly. Major plus point if I can take you to the client and explain what's going on in laymen terms. (I've given up on this point).

Denis, you think Asians are shit quants? Fine. Now get back to work.
 
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