The UCI Libraries Present Finding the Edge: The Work and Insights of Edward O. Thorp

In November 2019, the UCI Libraries opened Finding the Edge: The work and insights of Edward O. Thorp in the Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery at Langson Library. The exhibit highlighted the extraordinarily diverse life and career of Edward O. Thorp. As a UCI founding professor of mathematics, best-selling author, hedge fund manager and blackjack player, this exhibit features Thorp’s mathematical odyssey from academia, to the casinos of Las Vegas, and the trading desks of Wall Street. We were honored to have Thorp as our distinguished speaker at the opening night event on Monday, November 4, 2019. Please click here to see the video of the event.

We are now excited to offer this exhibit in a virtual format. This exhibit is curated by Annette Buckley, Research Librarian for Business and Economics; Rebecca Imamoto, Head of Collection Strategies; and John Sisson, Research Librarian for Biological Sciences; and is designed by Allan Helmick, Sylvia Irving and Luisa Lee.

The exhibit includes select writings and memorabilia showcasing his personal and professional papers throughout his impressive career. Thorp was a founding member of the UCI mathematics department and became a professor who mathematically proved card-counting gives every player an edge. Thorp also funded an endowment to attract a pre-eminent professor in mathematics. To beat roulette, he and Claude Shannon invented the first wearable computer. Along with innovative applications of probability theory, Thorp is also The New York Times bestselling author of “Beat the Dealer,” the first book to mathematically prove that the house advantage in blackjack could be overcome by card-counting. He also pioneered the use of quantitative investment techniques in the financial markets and has been called the “Godfather of Quants.”

In 2013, Thorp received the UCI Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Lauds & Laurels Extraordinarius. award, which recognizes outstanding individuals for their service to community, professional excellence and campus involvement.

This exhibit provides an inspirational view of Edward O. Thorp’s boundless curiosity and intellectual drive towards “finding the edge” in science and business. I invite you to explore the exhibit, and to view additional thought-provoking exhibits at the UCI Libraries in the future.

Click here to view the project “Thorp and the Theory of Options: Illuminating the Edward O. Thorp Papers at UC Irvine."

The UCI Libraries Exhibits Program promotes the diverse holdings and scholarly and cultural value of the Libraries’ collections to the campus and community. Click here to support the Libraries' Collection Enhancement Fund.

Lorelei Tanji

University Librarian