This is Joan Feynman

She is Richard Feynman’s younger sister. She is also a scientist and because of her we know that auroras (northern lights) are caused by the interaction of solar winds and our atmosphere.

She tells us a wonderful story. Watch the whole thing.

Just plain wonderful.

Ito, Doeblin, Feynman and Kac

Many many years ago as an undergraduate mathematician, I heard whispers of a strange kind of calculus called Ito calculus that deals with random variables (regular calculus can’t be applied to random variables because random variables aren’t smooth, and also they’re random). Calculus really is the study of smooth things, so I couldn’t possibly imagine how one could do calculus on random things.

I remember reading the Wikipedia page and that it was no help. Google was no help either. So I let it be.

Then when I was working for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism I attended an econometrics conference, and I remember asking some PhD’s about Ito calculus. They had no idea what I was talking about. I accepted that I would never know what Ito calculus was.

Flash forward to today. Or last week. I finally (finally!) know what it’s about, and can actually do it myself!

And it’s just gorgeous.

The best part: I finally get to learn mathematics directly developed by my main man Richard Feynman. And how cool is it that the mathematics invented to understand randomness in quantum physics is used to understand risk in financial markets?
[A: super cool]

Math is funny like that.