In 1970, that bank sponsored a conference that included Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, who had just begun thinking seriously about the problem of valuing stock options. Of course, their paper on that subject, timed so as to coincide with a related paper by Robert C. Merton, would revolutionize financial economics three years later. Even their preliminary thoughts at the 1970 conference excited Vasicek, who soon made related issues his own life's work.
Vasicek's own breakthrough paper, describing the dynamics of the yield curve, appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics in 1977. In recognition of that paper, and subsequent work, the International Association of Financial Engineers named Vasicek its IAFE/Sungard Financial Engineer of the Year, in 2004.
Vasicek has received the Risk Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the Derivatives Strategy Hall of Fame, the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame and the Risk Magazine Hall of Fame.
He plays the flute and is an avid windsurfer.