David Seetapun

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David Seetapun is an English logician and former investment banker.

Academic Work[edit]

During the fall of 1990, David Seetapun was said to have "'used a very interesting 0'"- priority argument to prove that every r.e. degree 0 < a < 0' is locally noncappable, namely (35) (Va) o < a < o' (3c) a < c (Vb) b < c[anb = 0 => b = 0".[1] Seetapun received a PhD in logics from Cambridge in 1991, under Robert I. Soare, the topic was "Contributions to recursion theory". He went on to a post-doctoral position at Berkeley where in 1995 he published an influential article with his post-doctoral adviser Theodore Slaman on the topic of Ramsey's theorem.[2][3][4] He also proposed the so called "Seetapun Enigma", a mathematical puzzle that was not solved until 2010 by Chinese undergraduate student Liu Lu.


After graduating he took a job for Credit Suisse, but was offered a job by Goldman Sachs. Seetapun made a reputation for himself managing a trading venture with mathematical models, and has been cited as "Goldman's top London proprietary options trader".[5] He left Goldman in March 1998, when he was rehired by Credit Suisse. In 1998 his models started to fail causing a loss of some 100 million dollars of his own funds as well as for the firm.[6] He was dismissed and went first to Las Vegas to live as a gambler and later to Florida to work in the swordfish fishing fleet.


  1. ^ Judah, Haim; Just, Winfried; Woodin, W. Hugh (1992). Set Theory of the Continuum. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley, Calif.), Springer-Verlag. pp. 58–9. ISBN 978-3-540-97874-9. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  2. ^ David Seetapun and Theodore A. Slaman. 1995. On the Strength of Ramsey's Theorem. Notre Dame J. Formal Logic Volume 36, Number 4 (1995), 570–582.
  3. ^ Risk. Risk Magazine, Ltd. 1999. p. 27. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Chong, Chi-Tat (30 July 2008). Computational Prospects of Infinity: Presented talks. World Scientific. p. 57. ISBN 978-981-279-654-7. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Dunbar, Nicholas (2000). Inventing Money: The Story of Long-term Capital Management and the Legends Behind It. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-89999-0. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "The postdocs who lost millions". Times Higher Education. 1999-11-19. Retrieved 2012-03-24.