April 2012

Letter from the Chair

by J. Eddie Smith, IV, FSA, MAAA

J. Eddie SmithThose that know me personally and professionally know that I'm a huge fan of apps. I rely on mobile apps more every day. I've realized that apps aren't just a tech fad. I truly believe that apps will revolutionize how we consume and produce media.

Yes, produce. I actually wrote this entire article on my iPad—something I never dreamed I might do a couple of years ago. My iPad, while great for casual Web browsing and reading at home, has become one of my most-used appliances at work. From email to task management to PDF utilities, the iPad makes my job easier.

Just this year, I finally broke down and bought an external keyboard for my iPad (the Apple Wireless Keyboard if you're wondering). The ability to type at full-sized keyboard speeds was a game changer. Because of the iPad's long battery life and increasing software capabilities, I'm finding that my laptop stays at home more.

The iPad is the ideal peripheral for an anchored PC desktop—providing convenient calendar access or perhaps acting as a reference screen. And unlike most laptops, the iPad can easily go all day on a battery that starts the day at less than 100 percent. No cords to worry about. No waiting on it to boot up. It just molds itself to any environment.

Looking ahead in 2012

If apps aren't your thing (yet), don't worry. The Technology Section council is hard at work on other initiatives, too. Be on the lookout for the following events and sessions,which will be sponsored in part or in full by the Technology Section later this year.

At the Life & Health Symposium in May:

  • "Actuaries and IT: Can't We All Just Get Along?"
  • "Best Practices for Excel Design and Controls"
  • "Transnational Business Case for Business Intelligence"

At the Health Meeting in June:

  • "Best Practices for Excel Design and Controls"
  • "Business Case for Business Intelligence"

2012 Webcasts:

  • "Best Practices of Spreadsheet Design and Control" – late May
  • "Fixing the Excel Spreadsheet Mess" – early September
  • "Beyond Excel – Modeling with SAS/MatLab" – late 2012 to early 2013

As you can see, 2012 will be an active year for the Technology Section, but we would love to hear from you about more technology topics you'd like to see. Email us, or let us know through our LinkedIn group.

If you are a paid member of the Technology Section (or any section) you are entitled to one $25 webinar discount coupon in 2012. Visit Dues.soa.org for more information.