System to stay intelligent after graduate school

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by lolatency, May 3, 2009.

  1. After undergrad, I was more or less not learning anything for 4-5 years. One day I got asked how to do integration by parts and I completely forgot. I felt so terrible, I went back to grad school (for math, no less!) Now I am about to get out again, and I'm terrified I'm going to lose it all without adequate mental exercise.

    I can read papers and tinker all day, but I'm concerned it'll all slip away again and I will end up a total drooling moron with no economic utility whatsoever. I'm trying to figure out how I can do R&D, keep math skills sharp, AND keep a job without declining into a turd. Yeah, you can say "oh, just study daily", ... but, realistically, without the fear of bad grades or some other fear, I'm only going to be motivated 20% of the time to really dig down into the math.

    You can laugh at me now and say I'm an idiot already, but Obama's going to rob from you and give it to me if you don't give some decent tips on how not to be even more of an idiot... so you can put your smug supremacy away. Don't be so certain I and my idiot friends won't vote for some guy who promises to give me hand-outs.

    Have any of you managed to stay sharp?
  2. bidask


    this means math is not your passion, so why not just let it slip away and do something that is your passion?
  3. maxpi


    Hopefully knowledge can become very dormant but could be resurrected with a few months of study. I was an Electrical Engineer fifteen years back, today I look at the books and I cannot believe I ever learned that stuff. I might take the time to go back through and work all the problems again, I'm guessing that what took years the first time will take months the second time... nothing changed except my age, basic interests, learning ability, etc.. it's all still there...
  4. trader99



    I hear you totally! I feel the same way. I went to a top elite school as well and after grad and jsut working you are not
    stimulated the same way. I mean work is challenging in its own way but very different from the depths of math or any hard subjects.

    Only in the last year or so have I made
    a conscious effort to reenter the depths
    of what I formerly learned and try to expand and keep me sharp. Now the big question is where do you find the motivation? Without grades and other
    markers of achievements/punishment?

    There are several solutions. You can enroll in online certification programs that requires some studying of math or hard subjects. That way you are "schooling". It forces you do to think and do hw. There are plenty of advance certification and even post grad ones from good programs.

    But since you already went to grad school, another alternative which I think is more desirable is to create a project for yourself. Since this is a trading forum, you can try to learn new advanced math and applying them to the markets. That's what quants do for a living by the way. That ways it constantly pushes your mind to keep math fresh.

    good luck & have fun!

  5. Here's the dilemma with math: it's enjoyable, but if you go too far, you get so absorbed in it that you can't make money. I don't know if people know what I'm talking about it, but it's totally possible to be a stochastic calculus genius but still be a totally lousy options trader.
  6. If you really are afraid of losing your math skills consider becoming a math tutor.
  7. Hmm. Not a bad idea.
  8. Maybe even teach a class at a local community college.

  9. Check in with you PCP.

    He will get you going on 7 to 10 items your story is telling here.

    When long term memory no longer can be created, there are many direct links as to why.

    Read two parallel stories to yours in "The Predictors" and Derman's autobiography.
  10. trader99


    lolatency - I know what you are talking about. The higher and more abstract math like differential topology, algebraic combinatorics, buildings, complex analysis, got NUTTIN' to do with the market or real life! But it can still nevertheless be enjoyable to read and learn. I suffer the same dilemma. But I've learned to be practical and do abstract stuff on the side for slight amusement.

    Tutoring is not bad. I did that for a few years for fun and for PROFIT(decent ones too!)

    #10     May 3, 2009