I find it truly fascinating. Quants found ways to implement basic calculus concepts (integrals, differentials, stochastics), that I thought were extremely boring in my classroom, created mathematical models, and it has turned into a billion dollar industry. I remember spending weeks learning the Black-Scholes model, and basic Standard deviation to become a profitable options trader to make weekly income -- began to wish I majored in something math heavy as opposed to finance. (although I am happy where I'm at).
I still can't wrap my head around why quants even work for firms. If I had that brain-power I would develop my own algorithm via applied statistics and back test it. Maybe even sell that for a firm, and let them take it off you for millions. It's very funny, and sad at the same time. The average Joe thinks he has the edge by using-methods but meanwhile, quants are making hundreds of thousands of dollars for their firm , and scalping the bid-ask spread.