This is the first in a regular series of columns by Alexander Lipton giving the quants' view on key topics in the industry. Lipton is a Connection Science Fellow at MIT and an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at NYU. He held various senior managerial quant positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for 10 years until May 2016. Earlier, he served as a quant at several investment banks and a prominent hedge fund. He was named Risk magazine's first quant of the year in 2000.
As the landscape of der