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Brief description: The Thalesians are a think tank of dedicated professionals with an interest in quantitative finance, economics, mathematics, physics, computer science, and synergetics, not necessarily in that order.

Address: London, UK

Web site: http://www.thalesians.com

Joined: August 15th, 2011

About our Activities:

The Thalesians are a think tank of dedicated professionals with an interest in quantitative finance, economics, mathematics, physics, computer science, and synergetics, not necessarily in that order.

The group was founded in September, 2008, by Paul Bilokon (then a quantitative analyst at Lehman Brothers specialising in foreign exchange, and a part-time researcher at Imperial College), and two of his friends and colleagues: Matthew Dixon (then a quantitative analyst at Deutsche Bank) and Saeed Amen (then a quantitative strategist at Lehman Brothers). They were joined by the first Thalesians: John Aston, Thomas Barker, Jeremy Cohen, Paul Davis, Nikolai Iordanov, Jayshan Raghunandan, Rene Reinbacher, and Steve Zymler, and others.

Among the first presenters in the Thalesian seminar series — a social convergence point for the group — were Prof. Claudio Albanese and Prof. Berc Rustem. Dominic Connor continues to help our group and is a regular guest at our seminars. In our turn, we often appear on his Quant Finance group on LinkedIn.

We are also affiliated with the Open Finance Club (London) run by Thomas Barker.

The Thalesians were originally based in London, UK. In January, 2011, the organisation became truly global when Matthew Dixon brought it to the United States where he runs the Thalesians NYC seminars with the assistance of local organizer Shu-Wie Chen.

Our Philosophy

We are named after Thales of Miletus (Θαλῆς ὁ Μιλήσιος), a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in ca. 625 BC-ca. 546 BC. Thales was a mathematician and is familiar to many secondary school students for one of his theorems in geometry.

But more relevantly to us, he was one of the first users of options:

"Thales, so the story goes, because of his poverty was taunted with the uselessness of philosophy; but from his knowledge of astronomy he had observed while it was still winter that there was going to be a large crop of olives, so he raised a small sum of money and paid round deposits for the whole of the olive-presses in Miletus and Chios, which he hired at a low rent as nobody was running him up; and when the season arrived, there was a sudden demand for a number of presses at the same time, and by letting them out on what terms he liked he realised a large sum of money, so proving that it is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose, but this is not what they care about."Aristotle, Politics, 1259a.

The morale of this anecdote is that it is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose; the famous Milesian went ahead and proved it.

We, the Thalesians, admire him for that. But we also share many of his values, for example his core belief that a happy man is defined as one "ὁ τὸ μὲν σῶμα ὑγιής, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν εὔπορος, τὴν δὲ φύσιν εὐπαίδευτος" (who is healthy in body, resourceful in soul and of a readily teachable nature).

This wiki was created to serve as a source of information on quantitative finance, to collate references to various related resources, and to serve as a convergence point for the Thalesians, our colleagues and collaborators. It grew out of Paul Bilokon's finance wiki, which he started in February, 2007.

We believe that secrecy and fidelity are important in the world of finance. But we also acknowledge the power of information sharing in open societies. Let your business logic remain a closely guarded secret. But release everything else into the public domain. What goes around, comes around; this will ultimately spare you reinventing the wheel.