Emanuel Derman

May 2018

Professor Derman is an incredibly intelligent individual with an impressive background in Financial Engineering and a handful of models that bear his name. Attending his class constantly made me question how such a brilliant man could be such an inept instructor. His lectures almost exclusively consisted of him reading from the screen in front of him and underlining sentences on his slides. To worsen matters, his slides do not have appeared to have changed for the past several years and you will frequently see incorrect dates and other oddities as a consequence. A couple of times over the hour and fifteen minute class, Professor Derman will look up and answer any questions that may have arisen. His lecture style is unfathomably dry and even individuals who enjoy learning via lectures will find themselves hard pressed to remain fully awake. Personally, the value of attending class approached zero; it was easier for me to work through the slides at my own pace rather than have him read them to me. That said, Derman is personally a genuinely nice, caring, and friendly man who is easily approachable and happy to answer any questions you may have. I strongly recommend entering this class with a solid background in Stochastic Calculus and being prepared to spend vast amounts of time outside of class to learn the material.