Mason Smith (BS '09), head of software engineering at TGS Management Company, a quantitative trading firm, has been elected to Caltech's Board of Trustees.
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Smith received the Axline scholarship from Caltech, where he earned bachelor's degrees in mathematics and computer science. He served as vice president and president of Page House, and was a member of the Board of Control, an undergraduate committee responsible for investigating violations of Caltech's Honor Code.
He joins the Board as a young alumni trustee.
He recently discussed the beginnings of his career and his first introduction to Caltech.
How did you get into your line of work?
I'd always been really interested in math, but when I discovered computer programming, I felt like I stumbled upon something magical. I feel lucky that I was able to start my career in a time when software is eating the world, so I've never had to sacrifice to pursue my passion as a career. I didn't know that much about quantitative finance when I first started my career, but I continue to find my work challenging and stimulating.
What's the best advice you have ever received?
Good advice stands on its own. You don't have to agree with the messenger to appreciate the message.
How did you become interested in Caltech?
I first learned about Caltech when applying to the Young Engineering and Science Scholars (YESS) Program, a summer program for rising high school seniors and juniors. I had an amazing experience at YESS and, after learning about all of the research opportunities available, even for undergrads, Caltech was my first choice for undergrad.
Read about Smith's experiences at Caltech and his approach to philanthropy on the Break Through website.