CSML Alumni Profile: Sid Gupta uses data science to analyze the financial markets

Written by
Sharon Adarlo
Aug. 10, 2022

Sid Gupta, 25, Class of 2021


Gupta earned his master’s degree in finance from Princeton University, while also fulfilling the requirements for the graduate certificate at the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning (CSML). Before coming to Princeton, Gupta studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi for his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science.

Current Work:

Gupta is an equity derivatives trader at BNP Paribas, an international banking group, in New York City. He’s been at his position since last year.

“There are multiple divisions within BNP, and I'm on the sales and trading side,” said Gupta. “Within the equities markets, we basically deal with derivatives such as futures and options. And specifically, within the derivatives business, I am on the index volatility trading desk. Indices include the S&P 500, Dow Jones and NASDAQ.”

“I try to answer as many client requests as possible and be a good risk manager,” he said about his job.

Before BNP Paribas, Gupta was an intern at Citi and an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He also previously interned at BNP Paribas.

Graduate Work:

For his master’s degree thesis, which also fulfilled requirements in the CSML graduate certificate, Gupta compared the use of various machine learning methods to estimate probable volatility and prices for vanilla options, a type of financial derivative. In addition to neural networks, Gupta used decision tree-based ensemble models such as gradient boosted trees and random forests to estimate volatility. He used the S&P 500 option price data from 2016 to 2018 to train and test his models.

After his models processed the aforementioned data set, Gupta determined that his gradient boosted trees and random forests performed best compared to parametric models and neural networks.

“This research would be useful for industry practitioners who need to calibrate option prices on a daily basis for various purposes,” he said.

Gupta said he’s always been into math, especially applied math. His overlapping work in data science and the financial markets fit his interest in applied math.

“I love being surrounded by numbers,” he said. “I enjoyed taking classes on statistics and probability in my undergraduate years. It was during my internship at Goldman Sachs when I made the decision to do a master’s degree in finance.”

On the CSML certificate curriculum, he found that it enriched his education. He enjoyed various parts of the program, particularly the graduate seminar led by Peter Ramadge, director of the CSML.

“It was interactive, and the seminar taught you how to present your work effectively and how to do research work,” he said.

Future Goals:

Gupta wants to stay in finance and become a portfolio manager.

Extracurricular Activities:

Gupta enjoyed running around campus and playing volleyball. Nowadays, he likes playing poker and going to electronic music concerts. He is also learning to play the piano.