David Ye

Mathematics Ph.D. Graduate

Currently Employed: Chief Risk Officer at State Street Global Markets

David Ye came to Duke from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1986 on a James B. Duke Fellowship and graduated with a PhD in Mathematics, specializing in algebraic geometry, in 1991. After teaching at SUNY Stony Brook, Purdue, and The University of Texas he began working in finance. Dr. Ye is currently Chief Risk Officer at State Street Global Markets.

What are your memories of your time at Duke? What was it like earning your Ph.D. as an international student?

I was coming from China in the 1980s, and there was a lot happening there economically and politically. It was a turbulent time. I was fortunate enough to get a James B. Duke fellowship to pursue my Ph.D. in mathematics. My first impression of Duke was that it was such a beautiful place, very serene. I really enjoyed that. I also had a great time interacting with my professors and advisors, in particular David Morrison and Phillip Griffiths. They were very smart and very caring. But if there’s one thing that I would highlight in particular, it’s how great the school’s administration was. I felt like I was doing well in my studies, but socially, it was a big adjustment learning both the language and the culture. The administration really did a lot to help international graduate students by setting up programs to help us assimilate. They really invested in making us feel welcome.


Read more about David, including how he moved from academia into finance, and advice he has for students, in his Alumni Profile, written by recent Ph.D. graduate in English, Stefan Waldschmidt.