I’m an educator, amateur philosopher, professional quant, obsessive physicist and an optimistic writer. Surprisingly, in all these different endeavors, I have had some measure of success. I have published a book on the philosophy of physics, called The Unreal Universe. And my second book, The Principles of Quantitative Development, is a project with the prestigious John Wiley and Sons, to be published in 2010. My columns appear regularly in a high profile quantitative finance publication called the Wilmott Magazine and in a Singaporean newspaper called Today.
I was born in the picturesque hill resort of Munnar in south India in 1965. I received my undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1987. Guided by my affinity for physics, I then joined the Physics Department of Syracuse University as a graduate student. I studied fundamental particles and their interactions at the CLEO collaboration at Cornell University during 1990-’92. After receiving my Ph.D in 1993, I moved to Marseilles, France and continued my research with the ALEPH collaboration at CERN, Geneva. During my 10-year career as a research scientist in the field of high energy physics, I co-authored over 190 publications.
Always inquisitive about the interplay between mind and matter, perception and philosophy and their implications in physics, I joined the Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL, later to be renamed I2R) in Singapore in 1998 to study and develop various human body-based measurements and systems. My work in this institute resulted in four invention disclosures, two of which have been filed for patent, and numerous academic papers. (Please see the CV for selected publications.) Later on, I was involved in the NeuroInformatics group, focusing on Brain Machine Interface and neural signal acquisition and processing, which gave me the perfect opportunity to further understand and appreciate the role of perception in physics. The outcome of my professional research career and philosophical bend of mind is my first book, The Unreal Universe.
In 2005, I switched to quantitative finance, heading the quantitative analyst team at OCBC, a regional bank in Singapore. This middle office job, involving risk management and curtailing ebullient traders, gave me a thorough overview of pricing models and, perhaps more importantly, perfect understanding of the conflict-driven implementation of the risk appetite of the bank. Later on, I moved to Standard Chartered Bank, taking care of their in-house trading platform, which further enhanced my “big picture” outlook and inspired me to write Principles of Quantitative Development.”
A decade later, after a short sabbatical, I decided to take up what is likely to be my last career — a professorship at Singapore Management University, teaching business modelling and data analytics, which were also the theme of a couple of startups I was involved with during this time.
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