If you ever wondered about what “Quants” do or want to become one, this book is an absolute must read. Written in chronological order if covers all the major players and how they got there.
Interestingly, many of the early players had worked for either the IDA or IBM and many of them were influential mathematicians in their own right. They all started relatively poor and became very rich.
What impressed me a lot was that that the book makes a point to follow the principals long enough to show what they did to find happiness in their lives. While money does not make one happy, it seems to make getting happy a lot easier.
Another point I took away from the book is that the theory of Efficient Market Hypothesis may not be as good as claimed. The basis of Renaissance Technologies’ success is based on exploiting inefficiencies in both the market and in human behavior.
All in all a great read whether or not you are just curious or deeply involved in the field.