Twofish's Blog

August 27, 2006

Feeling like a professor

Filed under: academia, Career, Uncategorized — twofish @ 9:34 pm

I’m actually starting to feel like a professor.  One of the problems in doing something “different” is that you lack social validation.  I don’t have the nice title, office or parking space that goes with being tenure track faculty, and so a lot of times, there is this nagging feeling that I’m a fake, because there is no one telling me that I’m “real.”

But that feeling seemed to have disappeared in the last two or three days.  Part of it has to do with posting onto the Chronicle of Higher Education website, and realizing that the issues that I’m going through are the same that other people are going through.  The other part involves reading journal articles and realizing that the stuff I’m trying to figure out is as complicated as anything that is in the journal articles.

The other thing is that I think I’ve realized something important about knowledge.  Knowledge isn’t about knowing the answers, it’s about being able to ask the questions.  I have very little idea how to price Shanghai warrants.  Neither does my six year old son, but I think what makes me a little different is that I’m starting to have the background to ask the questions.

Which probably explains why I’m starting to feel like a professor.  I’m starting to realize the level of my ignorance, and be able to state what I’m ignorant of, and to fix those holes.  For example, in going over the papers I started to realize that I had no idea how do to econometric hypothesis testing, and I’m going to have to learn that if I expect anyone to take what I say seriously.  The other thing is that I think I’m starting to ask questions which no one else has asked like “can you use a Garman-Klass formulation to calibrate a variance gamma model?”   or “can you use a Carr-Wu analysis to figure out the parameters of a variance gamma model as the derivative goes near strike?” or “what is the opitimal memory model to use for the objects that SWIG creates in R?”

I have no clue, but I will six months from now.

Lots of work.

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