Jie Cheng's Journey from Supercomputers to Trading Floors

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"From supercomputers to trading algorithms, the leap isn't as large as you might think," muses Jie Cheng, a pioneer in high-frequency trading and computational technology.

As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at 3ARB Capital LLC, Jie Cheng has made his mark in the world of financial technology (fintech), where his unique blend of engineering skill and financial expertise reshapes trading floors.

Academic Foundations: A Strong Start

His journey began at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. During his doctoral studies, Cheng developed novel mathematical formulations to model fluid-structure interactions and created a numerical framework based on the finite element method. His work had practical implications in biofluid simulations, aiding in the understanding of under-researched phenomena such as artery stenosis and phonation.

Cheng's exploration of computer science led to a master's degree from the same institution, where he refined his skills in parallel computing. He created software that demonstrated the scalability of fluid dynamics problems on massively distributed systems. This work with complex Partial Differential Equations (PDE) and large-scale parallel programming laid the foundation for his later contributions to fintech.

Fintech Innovator: Revolutionising Trading Technologies

Following his academic career, Cheng joined Akuna Capital LLC in Chicago as a quantitative developer. There, he spearheaded the development of a high-performance cryptocurrency trading infrastructure designed to handle extensive ranges of operations, including market data ingestion, strategy execution, and post-trade analysis. His initiatives included the design of a market data arbitration framework and the construction of a high-performance network optimized for real-time trading data transmission, which significantly reduced network latency and improved scalability and reliability.

Professional Leap: From Trade Graphs to Silicon Valley

After years of refining trading systems at Akuna Capital, Cheng pursued further personal development by enhancing his technical skills. This pursuit led him to Google, where he secured a software position and swiftly applied his expertise to improve the Google Assistant on devices like the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Watch. His contributions at Google included developing essential functionalities such as hotword triggering, multi-mode control, and text-to-speech APIs, which were vital for seamless user interaction and effective device management. His tenure at Google refined his skills in network programming, concurrent programming, and high-performance computing—skills crucial for the financial sector. Cheng's tech skills in financial markets culminated in his co-founding of 3ARB Capital LLC, where he has been leading the development of sophisticated algorithms designed to capitalize on minute price discrepancies across markets. His ability to design high-performance software and establish a geographically distributed computing system showcases his technology and strategic market operations expertise.

Reflecting on a Transformative Career

Cheng's path from academia to fintech is a testament to the evolution of applying complex theories to practical, impactful technologies. "Each step in my career has built upon the last, building up to what I hope is a positive impact for fintech and humanity," Cheng reflects.
From leveraging supercomputers in academia to pioneering fintech innovations on the trading floor, Cheng's career has been remarkable. His application of scientific expertise to transform financial trading positions him as a trailblazer and exemplifies the achievements possible with the right skill set