Escaping The Sisyphean Trap: How Quants Can Achieve Their Full Potential (Seminar Slides)

23 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2021 Last revised: 31 May 2022

See all articles by Marcos Lopez de Prado

Marcos Lopez de Prado

Cornell University - Operations Research & Industrial Engineering; Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; True Positive Technologies

Date Written: September 3, 2021


Investing can be characterized as a data science problem. While investment firms have attracted scientific talent, they have done a poor job at developing it. Firms hire specialists, but entice them to become generalists (e.g., portfolio managers). Under the ubiquitous silo/platform structure, quants succumb to the Sisyphean trap, and do not achieve their full potential.

A research lab structure offers a unique environment for developing scientists, by means of: (a) co-specialization, working in a highly cooperative lab environment; (b) tackling well-defined open investment problems; and (c) applying the scientific method.

Keywords: Quantitative investing, scientific method, machine learning, Sisyphean trap, hedge funds

JEL Classification: G0, G1, G2, G15, G24, E44

Suggested Citation

López de Prado, Marcos and López de Prado, Marcos, Escaping The Sisyphean Trap: How Quants Can Achieve Their Full Potential (Seminar Slides) (September 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Marcos López de Prado (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Operations Research & Industrial Engineering ( email )

237 Rhodes Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States


Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ( email )

211 Corniche Road
Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi PO Box3600
United Arab Emirates


True Positive Technologies ( email )

United States


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