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Release Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:45 AM
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Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Pioneering Quantitative Analyst Piotr Karasinski to Deliver Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair Lecture
Piotr Karasinski

WASHINGTON (November 25, 2013) – Pioneering quantitative analyst Piotr Karasinski, Ph.D., will deliver the lecture, “From Physics to Finance,” during the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy lecture series in the Browsing Room of Founders Library on Monday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 p.m.

Karasinski is best known for the Black-Karasinski short rate model, which he co-developed with the late Fischer Black. His contributions to quantitative finance include models for interest rates, equity and hybrid products and random volatility. He is currently senior advisor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In his lecture, Karasinski will discuss the factors that led to his undergraduate studies in physics at Warsaw University, followed by a doctorate at Yale University—and how his studies accidently led him to Wall Street. He will also discuss his years at Goldman Sachs and his work with Fischer Black, the 2008 credit crash and the financial system meltdown. Finally, he will discuss the relationship between physics and finance, the role of mathematical models and how we can make the financial system safer.

He will be joined by James L. Hudson, Washington attorney and the former United States executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who is facilitating this year’s lecture series. Hudson is leading several interrelated lecture programs focusing on the global economic and political impact of the recent recession. Hudson most recently served as the U.S. executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a position he was appointed to by President Barack Obama.

Established in 2008 with Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King’s $1 million donation to Howard University, the chair is intended to encourage highly accomplished individuals to come to Howard to share their experiences with current students. The Kings, who are both Howard alumni, inaugurated the chair to reflect their years in public service and the media.

Gwendolyn Stewart King graduated from Howard University in 1962 with degrees in French and education. She went on to a distinguished career, including serving as commissioner of the Social Security Administration and as director of Monsanto Company, Marsh & McLennan Companies and Lockheed Martin Corporation, whose charitable awards program made the gift to Howard possible. Colbert King, who graduated in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in government, has had a similarly distinguished career, including many years at The Washington Post. In 2003, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for what the committee called his “against-the-grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.”


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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