Peter Carr NYU Tandon Finance Chair : Remembering A Quant Hero

Peter Carr NYU Tandon Finance Chair : Remembering A Quant Hero Peter Carr was a legendary Quant figure to many around the world. His sudden passing this week caught us by surprise. From his work to his teaching Peter’s offering to this world was extraordinary.

Peter Carr was an extremely well-respected Quant at Morgan Stanley prior to becoming a professor and the Chair at Tandon. Peter spent 6 years at Morgan Stanley where he was the Global Head of Market Modeling. A former Morgan Stanley employee who worked with Peter said it was “really shocking and heartbreaking.”

Peter was named “Financial Engineer of the Year 2010” by the #IAFE (International Association of Financial Engineers) and Risk Magazine’s 2003’s Quant of the year.

Prior to Morgan Stanley Peter worked at Bloomberg where he was Head of Quant Research. And before Bloomberg, Peter worked at Banc of America Securities as the Head of Equity Derivatives. Before Wall Street Peter taught at Cornell’s Johnson School.

At NYU a student told us, “Peter went out of his way to help me when I was lost in my career and life.” Peter’s NYU colleagues were taken back as well, with one telling us she was “in shock” and another telling us he was “filled with sadness for Peter’s family, leaving us so early.”

Google’s Director of Engineering Alexander Belikoff said of Peter:

“I went into quantitative finance because of you (Peter). You were my inspiration!”

NYU President Andrew Hamilton told us:

NYU’s great strength rests in the excellence of its faculty, and Peter Carr, chair of Tandon’s Department of Finance and Risk Engineering, exemplified this.  As a scholar, teacher, colleague, department chair, and business person, he was respected for his dedication, his talent and great gifts, and his leadership.  NYU has lost someone not only very accomplished but also very much admired and liked. His death is a painful loss for NYU and particularly for the Tandon School, especially coming as suddenly as it has.

Raphael Douady, Research Professor at the University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne:

Peter, rather than repeating how much we’ll miss you, let’s focus on what you left us that will remain forever: your enthusiasm, your permanent curiosity. Always questioning the “Why is that so?” behind a model feature, a mathematical formula, a market behavior, never closing the questioning to “It is so.” Let that be an example to all researchers in math finance and in any scientific field!

Cornell Financial Engineering Director Victoria Averbukh told us:

“Peter was there at the very first FE conference launched at Cornell when the subject of FE was just pioneered. I met Peter at Cornell when I was at the very beginning of my PhD and looking for research ideas and will always consider him one of the very few people who truly influenced my career. Our paths kept crossing since then. And how could it be otherwise? Anyone engaged in quant finance community knew and wanted to know Peter. He was such a force. His enthusiasm for math finance has always been so contagious – back in the 90s and all the way till the end. Peter was a mentor and colleague and will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Linda Kreitzman, the “Queen of Quants” and the Director of the Master of Financial Engineering Program at Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley told us:

Dan Stefanica and I always loved to sit next to Peter and catch up. You’d think directors of similar programs would compete. No, we respected our work, programs, students, our friendship.

Dan Stefanica, Director of the Masters Program in Financial Engineering at Baruch College said:

When Peter was in industry, I always thought (and told him, and said it publicly) that Peter was the best academician in industry, or the best practitioner in academia. After he moved to academia, the quote continued to ring true. Peter was the quintessence of an a practitioner academic, and there was nobody like him.  What a tremendous and unexplainable loss.”

Lars Tyge Nielsen, Director of Columbia University’s Mathematics of Finance MA program said about Peter:

“I knew Peter since were both at Morgan Stanley in the late 1990’s. Since then we have had many enjoyable dinners and discussions. He will be missed.”

Bloomberg’s Head of Quantitative Research Solutions Arun Verma added:

“Peter will be remembered for his ever-present & infectious smile and unassuming nature. He was an inspiration for me to enter the financial industry, and a truly great mentor and manager during his years at Bloomberg. Loved his passion not for math / finance but also for the Beatles and ice hockey! May he rest in peace – my prayers to all his loved ones.”

Professors & 2022 Quants of the Years Matthew Dixon & Igor Halperin remarked on Peter:

“There was no topic in quantitative finance that Peter hadn’t thought about. He did mathematical research in real-time, anywhere, any place.  If you met with him for lunch, you’d might not actually eat anything in trying to keep up with the equations on the napkins. He was extremely munificent – you never walked away empty handed when you hung out with Peter and he had a remarkable way of bringing people together with a sense of urgency to expand the field.”

“Peter was like a walking and smiling encyclopedia of quantitative finance, with a special passion for modeling derivatives, which he could discuss for hours, usually with a pen and whatever piece of paper that was available at the moment – very often it was a napkin or an envelope. What a tragic loss. We never came to writing papers together, but I had many great conversations with Peter at the lobbies of different quant conferences, drawing formulas on napkins and backs of envelopes etc., and it was always great to learn something new from him. Later, Peter was my employer during my stint at NYU, and it was him who suggested me to create a Coursera course on ML. Everything else that happened in my professional career since then happened due to this pivot, and I will always be thankful to Peter for this.”

Hans Buehler, Global Head Equities Data Analytics, Automation, and Optimization (AAO), and Equities, Sales, Securities Services QR at JPMorgan Chase & Co said:

I admired peter. He was an inspiration and role model to generations of quants. I am really saddened by his passing.”

Sudip Gupta, Johns Hopkins Professor & Fmr Director of Fordham Gabelli’s Quantitative Finance Program said:

“Peter was a dear friend and it is a big loss for quant finance. His zeal, vision, acumen and leadership will be missed. He had requested me to give a talk at Tandon and I had postponed it to fall for my teaching and other commitments. I wish I paid him a visit this spring only.”

Ranjan Bhaduri, CEO at Bodhi Research Group told us:

“Peter Carr was top-notch in both industry and academia, which is rare. His body of research in quantitative finance was brilliant: from utilizing fast Fourier transforms in option valuation, and his many contributions to volatility and derivatives pricing. He was a talented teacher and mentor. He was invaluable in industry as a problem solver. Most of all, though, he was a really good person – somebody who had no attitude and was genuine. Peter was from Toronto, and a big hockey fan. He will be missed a lot.”

Friend Paul Bilokon CEO of Thalesians and Visiting Lecturer at the Imperial College London on Peter:

“I’ve had the great privilege of knowing Peter Carr. His mathematical work possessed that astounding mathematical beauty that makes one marvel at it in awe and disbelief. Peter Carr was a true artist – as well as a great financial engineer. On the personal level, I will remember Peter first and foremost for his kindness and generosity. When I was a young, keen quant, and knew pretty much nothing of what I was talking about, I found in the much wiser Peter a true teacher – and friend. Thank you ever so much, Peter, that you have been.”

Peruvemba Satish, American Century Investments’ Chief Investment Officer of Disciplined Equity told us:

“Peter was a brilliant researcher and shared his insights with enthusiasm and humility.”

Crypto-Asset Manager and Johns Hopkins Professor Jim Liew said Peter is:

“one of our National Quant treasures. When he spoke the whole community listened!” 

Dendi Suhubdy, the CEO at Bitwyre remembers:

“Early on my career Peter Carr has given me the inspiration to conduct my studies in the United States of America and take on mathematical research of stochastic processes. His research encourages quants alike to build upon his phenomenal work. We hope we can keep the torch on and keep inspiring other quants to stand on each other’s shoulders. Prof Carr, you will be missed!”

Ashwin Rao, Chief Science Officer at Wayfair & Adjunct Professor at Stanford said:

 “Peter will be remembered even more for being an incredibly caring and generous person, the absolute definition of Gentleman. I was one among thousands whose lives he transformed – by making vital introductions, by providing key opportunities, by imparting profound insights. Remarkably, he always did all of this in a quiet, humble, unobtrusive manner.”

Hans Buehler, Global Head Equities Data Analytics, Automation, and Optimization (AAO), and Equities, Sales, Securities Services QR at JPMorgan Chase & Co said:

I admired peter. He was an inspiration and role model to generations of quants. I am really saddened by his passing.”

Sri Atluri, the Global Head of Enterprise Quality Engineering at BNY Mellon said of Peter:

“Great loss – Peter is an amazing friend and we both brainstorm on engineering and innovation. One of the topics we both passionately talk about was ‘automation with compassion’”

Bartt Kellerman, Founder of Battle of the Quants said:

Peter Carr was an exceptional representative of an ideal quant. Not only was tremendously gifted but he also was extremely generous and kind.

Sri Krishnamurthy, CEO of QuantUniversity said:

“Peter Carr’s contribution to the Quant Community has been tremendous and he will be dearly missed. Thousands of students have learnt from him and the programs he led!”

One former Bloomberg employee remembered Peter fondly telling us:

“Peter was kind enough to help me pick out books from his library at Bloomberg when researching option pricing.”

Peter touched many wherever he went and was a top mind in the field. Peter loved to challenge and help. Peter’s traditional mathematical view on the world will be missed.

Peter was also a legal administrator for the National Museum of Mathematics, WorldQuant University, and chief for the Society of Quantitative Analysts (SQA).

An avid researcher, Peter published 56 papers with SSRN. Including his paper: Analyzing Volatility Risk and Risk Premium in Option Contracts: A New Theory which has nearly 5,000 downloads.

Peter Carr | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Peter Carr NYU Tandon Department of Finance and Risk Engineering Chair : Remembering A Quant Hero