This is from the book, “My life as a Quant” by Emanuel Derman.
” I spent seven biblically-lean years in the physics department.
One friend spent ten.We both got out alive.
Some didn’t. It wasn’t long before we had all heard the legend about
the graduate student who had shot his PhD advisor. Several years ago I
read a New York Times article about two graduate students who committed
suicide while studying in the Harvard laboratory of Nobel Prizewinner
Professor E. J. Corey. In a subsequent letter to the Sunday New
York Times magazine of December 20, 1998, Linda Logdberg of Upper
Nyack, New York, wrote in to comment on life as graduate student:
. . . Perhaps even more now than then, graduate education is an
extended adolescence during which highly intelligent young
people see their world shrink to fit the dimensions of their advisor’s laboratory. . . . With their identities bound to the outcome
of the thesis project, graduate students are socialized to view
other options (teaching, industry, even changing to another type
of work altogether) with contempt.Wanting a decent wage and
meaningful work that occupies, say, only 50 hours per week are
considered signs of selling out.
From, ‘My Life as a Quant’ by Emanuel Derman, PhD (Physics, Columbia) who headed
Goldman Sachs’ Quantitative Strategies group.
At IISc, I met a few of ppl who reacted almost violently to the idea of going on to do a mgmt degree and to
the idea of wanting to make more money. I thought I knew what they were thinking and this describes what I thought I saw perfectly.