Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mathematicians and Economics

The following quote is excerpted from Richard Feynman's comments on mathematicians. This Nobel laureate delineates the efforts of pure mathematicians doing physics, and this logic may also be applied to pure mathematicians doing economics (or finance). I paraphrase his quote a little bit by substituting all "physics" into "economics":

"...The equations are complicated, but after all they are only mathematical equations and if I understand them mathematically inside out, I will understand the economics inside out." ... Mathematicians who study economics with that point of view -- and there have been many of them -- usually make little contribution to economics and, in fact, little to mathematics. They fail because actual economic situations in the real world are so complicated that it is necessary to have a much broader understanding of the equations...

-- From The Feynman Lectures on Physics

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