querying quants (a triptych)


“I had dinner last night with someone who self describes as a ‘quant jock.’ Is that a familiar phrase to you?”

“Yeah, it gets used a lot at the Kennedy School.”

“So, I understand what it is to be a ‘quant’ – both in finance and in social science – but what’s a ‘quant jock’?”

“It just refers to someones who’s really good at quantitative methods, but I’ve never heard anyone use it to refer to themselves.”

“So, is Jeremy Freese a quant jock?”

Yes, Jeremy Freese is a quant jock.”

“But I’ve never heard him say this about himself.”

“Exactly. I wouldn’t expect that he would.”


“Hey, I learned a new phrase and I’m curious about the domains in which it’s used. Do people in the Department of Biostatistics use the phrase ‘quant jock’?”

“No, that would never get used in my world.”

“Why do you think?”

“Because we’re statisticians.”


“I was thinking about your question about ‘quant jocks’.”


“Does that make you a qual diva?”

“Nice turn of phrase, but I think you’re conflating gender and methods.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if you were an ethnographer, would you rather that I call you a qual diva? Or would you be a qual jock? “

“Okay, granted.”

“This is not to say I mind being called a diva.”

“I understand.”

6 thoughts on “querying quants (a triptych)”

  1. Well, one thing I know for sure: I would never refer to myself as a “quant jock.” Or even, “quant diva,” although if forced I would prefer that. I also, incidentally, despise “quantoid.”


  2. I’ve never heard the term! It must be after my time–but my dept was very quantitative and marginalized those who focused on qualitative work. I wonder if “quant jockey” might not be a derogatory term?

    In my non-academic position, I’m the most quantitative person around but I’m pretty sure people don’t call me a quant jock. I think I might be called a “stats person,” which is equally inaccurate. But who’s going to say, “the person with the most recent and in-depth quantitative social science training who isn’t really a methods person”?


  3. In re: Jamy and Blue Monster’s comments —

    I guess the critical issue is whether the “jock” in “quant jock” refers more to a “jockey” (a small person who rides big numbers?) or to the stereotype of an athlete (he knocked that ANOVA out of the park!).

    Probably of no relevance here, Wikipedia notes that Jock was also the name of Winston Churchill’s cat.


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