Nick Psaris is a seasoned quantitative developer with experience building automated option market making and equity statarb backtesting and trading systems. He has written two books Q Tips and Fun Q to share his passion for q/kdb+ and machine learning.

New York I

After graduating Duke University with a degree in Physics and Chinese, he began his career in finance at Morgan Stanley in New York. He obtained his CFA charter in 2003, and a Masters in Computational Finance from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.

Hong Kong

Nick moved to Hong Kong in 2006 and built an equity portfolio trading and backtesting system in q. After spending three years at Liquid Capital Markets Hong Kong building a high frequency automated market making system in q, he then built an inventory optimization platform in q at a top tier American investment bank.

Q Tips

Nick wrote Q Tips based on his years of practical experience developing production trading systems in q. Published in 2015, Q Tips teaches you everything you need to know to build a fully functional CEP engine. Advanced topics include profiling an active kdb+ server, derivatives pricing and histogram charting. As each new topic is introduced, tips are highlighted to help you write better q.

New York II

In 2016, Nick moved back to New York and joined his firm’s Central Risk Book desk where he built the data and analytics platform using q. Most recently, Nick built a client interest model for institutional clients using collaborative filtering.


Beginning in 2018, Nick has been co-teaching the Market Microstructure and Algorithmic Trading class for Carnegie Mellon University’s MSCF program. Students use kdb+ and jupyter notebooks to analyze high-frequency tick data sourced from NYSE Daily TAQ.

Fun Q

Combining his love of data and efficient q algorithms, Nick published Fun Q in 2020. Fun Q demonstrates how many common machine learning algorithms can be efficiently implemented in q – thus bringing the code to the data, instead of the data to the code. Each algorithm is broken into its basic building blocks and then rebuilt from scratch. Famous machine-learning data sets are used to motivate each chapter as advanced q idioms are introduced as well.


To promote interest in q, Nick has lead a few coding competitions.


Nick uses Emacs in all parts of his life. He is the author of q-mode, which adds syntax highlighting to q code and the ability to inject code into both local q processes and remote q servers. Q Tips and Fun Q where written using q-mode and adoc-mode for editing AsciiDoc files.

Pediatric Cancer

Nick is passionate about finding a cure for childhood cancer. In addition to supporting The D10 mission, he has raised over $100,000 for pediatric cancer research by shaving bald at the annual St. Baldricks event in Hong Kong.