Presentation of myself + Question about future studies

First of all, Congratulations for this new webpage/forum.

My Name is David, Nowadays I’m studying a double degree in Physics and Chemistry, It’s a very long degree “5 years”, with an amount of 343 ECTS credits, For people that It’s not from Europe, a normal degree consist in  180 ECTS credits, and a Bachelors Degree + Master is normally  300 ECTS, The think that I want to try when I finish my degree “Next year”, is to Apply for a PhD in some matter related with quantitative develop, or  Quantitative Analysis, but I have some questions about it.

1) It’s possible to access to a PhD with only a Bachelor degree (“Take in account that I will have more ECTS credits than a person with a degree + a master”)?

A question related with the first one:
2) It’s possible to start studying a PhD in “Quantitative Finance”, without any Finance Background? (I’ve taken only two subjects related: stochastic process  and life insurance mathematics)

3) In which European university you recommended to perform a PhD?

4) So you think that a good choice that next year when I finish my degree I start to work in a Finance company and from this point start learning inside the company (Without taking any master/PhD)?

NOTICE: If you think that with my studies It’s impossible to access to a PhD the above questions also  follows for a Master’s degree

Thank you in Advance!

Best wishes

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5 Answer(s)

David, when I was studying for my Physics Ph.D., most US students went straight from their undergrad degrees to Ph. D. programs. The physics Masters was conferred after 1 year of the graduate work. So I don’t think that’s a problem.

I also would suggest considering US programs. You sound like a student with quite a strong, diverse background, given all those credits.

I’ll defer to others on the European schools and the European answers.

Answered on May 11, 2016.
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Thank you very much Joel, That’s a very good Information, yes I’ve a very diverse background, from quite advance Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, to basis in Quantum Physics, Statistical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Lots of maths, Numerical Methods (Matlab, C/C++, Java, OpenCL “Paral·lel programming”), also some Biochemistry… of course you can do lot’s of thinks in 5 years,  but now It’s time to focus on what I want.

I say Europe cause the ECTS System It’s the same, but I don’t have problems to travel, I’m from Spain and nowadays I’m in Norway doing an Erasmus. So if You can give me some options in US are also welcome.

Answered on May 11, 2016.
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Ad 4) In case you are seriously devoted into QF, rather skip this option

Ad 3) Location is not the key per se, one may review published research papers on innovative approaches & advanced topics to see, where QF research yields most of the accepted publications.

Ad 2) One may consider this as an advantage, rather than a “weakness”. Most top-rated QF jobs require non-financial specialisations — typically Physics, CS, other sciences with strong practice in quantitative subjects and rigorous methods of cross-validations.

Ad 1) This would best be answered by your future PhD tutor, so do not hesitate to be pro-active and get in touch with research colleagues from Faculty of your choice ( ref.: 3 ) and be open in your research interests and PhD plans to discuss their respective possibilites, incl. EU / ERASMUS / dual-Faculty degree options.


As far as QC is concerned, the question would be lot harder to address. as discussed in “What is the best academic background for learning about QC?” 


Plus plus + David,

with your fields of study, you might also benefit a lot from QC in non-financial segments with high-impacts expected from the new possibilities brought from QC .. I mean the advanced research in new special materials design, molecular engineering based medical / drugs research & advanced protein dynamics et al, so do not be surprised once you may be head-hunted for this very particular mix of advanced knowledge.

Keep Walking, David!

Answered on May 11, 2016.
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I realize that you’re looking for a European institution, but take a look at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.  There are some professors there with an interest in quantum computing, although they have no active program yet.  However, some of their work is funded by the CME Group Foundation, and the CME Group is an investor in 1QBit.

If you look at the websites of 1QBit or D-Wave Systems, you will find a number of financial institutions among the investors.  These institutions have academic connections as well as investment portfolios, and although the links can be tenuous, you may find connections that will help you in assessing specific universities and their programs.

The  CME Group Foundation publishes a list of universities where they have made grants.  For the others you’ll have to do some discovery.

Answered on May 17, 2016.
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I know that David is asking about Ph.D. programs, but I wanted to talk about internships that might be relevant to graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who want to combine scientific research with industry work (tangentially addressing his question point #4). I am currently working towards a double degree in computer science and finance and have a strong interest machine learning and quantum computing. When I was looking for an internship earlier this year, I wanted to find a company that applied advanced computing technology to financial problems. The search was successful: I had the opportunity to explore the central theme of this blog in a company setting. I was interning at 1QBit’s applied research team, which turned out to be a perfect fit for my interests. The overall work dynamic was similar to an academic research institution, but with a strong focus on direct applications. Many researchers on the applied team had Ph.D.s in physics, and a preparation in scientific computing is useful in general. Overall, it was a great experience. The point is that if one looks carefully, it is possible to find companies that are involved in work that can suitably complement academic research.

Answered on September 19, 2016.
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