Bares delivers inaugural Careers in Math lecture

Brian Bares, president of Bares Capital Management, gives the first talk of a new lecture series on career perspectives in mathematics on Oct. 23, 2015, at UNL. LINDSAY AUGUSTYN/UNL CSMCE

What can one do with an undergraduate degree in mathematics? For a comprehensive overview, the Department of Mathematics has launched the new “Career Perspectives in Mathematics” lecture series, showcasing success stories of professionals with backgrounds in the mathematical sciences.

For the inaugural lecture on Oct. 23, 2015, the department hosted Brian Bares, president of Bares Capital Management based in Austin, Texas.

When Brian Bares (’97) received his undergraduate degree, he felt like a rather atypical student. Not keen on pursuing a graduate degree or a career in pure mathematics, he wanted rather to put his quantitative and interpersonal skills to the test in the real world. Working his way up from the bottom, Bares began his career by volunteering to work for free for a small capital management firm where he made himself indispensable along the way. He garnered experience in nearly all aspects of running a financial management firm before starting his own company that currently manages $1.5 billion in institutional assets.

Returning to UNL 18 years after his graduation, Bares confirmed that a mathematics degree can set one apart in the financial world. He stressed several aspects of this degree that can position mathematicians competitively for jobs in finance: the ability to delve deeply into research on any given topic and to use the critical thinking skills developed in mathematics courses to recognize the necessary competitive advantages for sustained growth in companies.

During his visit, Bares had the opportunity to meet over lunch with many of the current undergraduate math majors, offering them advice and reminiscing from his time as a student.

The Career Perspectives in Mathematics lecture series is funded through the Bares Family Fund for Excellence in Mathematics.

– Alexandra Seceleanu