A brief history of mathematics in finance

Erdinç Akyildirim, Halil Mete Soner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the list of possible scapegoats for the recent financial crises, mathematics, in particular mathematical finance has been ranked, without a doubt, as the first among many and quants, as mathematicians are known in the industry, have been blamed for developing and using esoteric models which are believed to have caused the deepening of the financial crisis. However, as Lo and Mueller (2010) state "Blaming quantitative models for the crisis seems particularly perverse, and akin to blaming arithmetic and the real number system for accounting fraud." Throughout the history, mathematics and finance have always been in a close relationship. Starting from Babylonians, through Thales, and then Fibonacci, Pascal, Fermat, Bernoulli, Bachelier, Wiener, Kolmogorov, Ito, Markowitz, Black, Scholes, Merton and many others made huge contributions to the development of mathematics while trying to solve finance problems. In this paper, we present a brief historical perspective on how the development of finance theory has influenced and in turn been influenced by the development of mathematical finance theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalBorsa Istanbul Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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