Dupuis, who grew up in Notre Dame, NB, had been researching gravitational waves since his time at Mount Allison.
“My first experience doing research, which is the backbone of what I’ve been doing in astrophysics and finance, that started as a summer research experience with (Mount Allison physics professor) Dr. Bob Hawkes (’72),” he says. “Without that, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the summer position I had at Cal Tech… And the exchange program was pivotal in introducing me to U.S. universities and U.S. experiences.”
He continued that research through his PhD studies and then as a postdoctoral research fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as part of an international team, a team that earlier this year was able to prove that gravitational waves exist after seeing two black holes collide.
“This is something Einstein predicted 100 years ago,” he says. “People have been working on this for decades, but it has all come to fruition in the past couple of years. This is one of the biggest scientific discoveries in physics in the past century… It’s opening up a new window on the universe.”
As exciting as the work was and is, after about 10 years in the field, Dupuis wanted to apply his skills in a new way. So he traded in his lab coat and went back to school at University of California, Berkeley for a Master’s degree in financial engineering, turning from astrophysics to the world of finance.
Although the data he is working with is very different, to Dupuis, quantitative finance is very similar to his research on gravitational waves: trying to find nearly undetectable patterns in reams of data.