Dragana talks about financial maths, the nature of research, and women in maths and computer science.

This is the winning article in the ages 11-15 category of the 2017 BSHM schools writing competition.

The fact that a sizeable proportion of the financial workforce is
made up of physicists is one of the industry's best-kept secrets. We talk to Laura Tadrowski, who has made the leap from physics to finance.

Deciding who is to blame and who should pay for the financial crisis will be a hot topic at the G8 next week. Financial mathematics received a lot of bad press in the aftermath of the crunch and many believe that it was the popularity of mathematical models – often borrowed from physics — that put the financial system at risk. But now models borrowed from biology are helping us understand how this risk might be reduced.

Many people's impression of mathematics is that it is an ancient edifice built on centuries of research. However, modern quantitative finance, an area of mathematics with such a great impact on all our lives, is just a few decades old. The Isaac Newton Institute quickly recognised its importance and has already run two seminal programmes, in 1995 and 2005, supporting research in the field of mathematical finance.

Why does a financial mathematician think about birds when trying to understand the grounding of aeroplanes after the Icelandic volcano eruption?

With the credit crunch dominating the news, columnists have been wailing about "chaos in the markets", and "turbulent" share prices. But what does move the markets? Are they deterministic, or a result of chance? **Colva Roney-Dougal** explores the maths, from chaos to group theory.

In the light of recent events, it may appear that attempting to model the behaviour of financial markets is an impossible task. However, there are mathematical models of financial processes that, when applied correctly, have proved remarkably effective. **Angus Brown** looks at one of these, a simple model for option pricing, and explains how it takes us on the road to the famous Black-Scholes
equation of financial mathematics, which won its discoverers the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics.