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People who worked in the Bank

September 28, 2012

As a pre Mathematician, I always consider people who worked in the bank (or bankers should I say) are of a different species from us  researches/intellectuals/academicians.  I want to say I look down on them, but today, as a re-newed person, I prefer to say they are different.  The feeling is probably mutual, they certainly think like-wise about us academicians.  In the old days of India, we will be the Brahmins and they will be the …Vaishyas?

A recent event/encounter made me change my view about them.  I have a very smart student from china who insisted on seeing the proof of something called the “Partial Fraction Decomposition of Rational functions”.  In everyday language, the word rational function is just “fraction”.  I won’t attempt to explain “Partial Fraction” in layman’s term but would suggest readers to go back to Calculus 2 or learn it from the lady at

So it took me quite a while to dig out the proof and to my disappointment, it has to do with something called “Abstract Algebra”, a topic I know the student will not be taking until perhaps graduate school in Mathematics.  Then I turned to the web and found a rather “simple” proof by Steven Cheng of Toronto.  And Mr. Cheng is not an intellectual but a  person who works for the bank!  Mr. Cheng has a degree in Financial Mathematics, is earning lots of money for himself but most importantly is also helping the bank earn lots of money because his job in the bank is a quant job!  So maybe because of that, he should be considered an intellectual too because, after all, he frequently writes blogs and proofs of mathematical theory that he likes but never had the chance to re-visit them as a banker.


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