March 2016

Letter from the Chair

Yonasan Schwartz By Yonasan Schwartz

Welcome to the first CompAct newsletter of 2016!

It is my honor to serve as the new Council chair for 2016. I would like to thank our outgoing Council members: Ben Kester, Jenn Nam, and William Chen; welcome our new Council members: Mark Africa, Kyle Nobbe, and Robert Hrischenko; and join together with our continuing members Paul Ramirez, Jason Kehrberg, Jenna Fariss, Donald Armstead, and Rich Junker, in looking forward to an exciting year of Section content and activities.

Special additional thanks to Ben Kester, our outgoing chair, and to Sue Martz, who served as our SOA Section specialist and recently retired.

A major responsibility of our Section Council is to provide the membership with timely and useful content related to actuaries and technology. This is done through CompAct articles, webinars, meeting sessions, research, and other methods. We would like to hear from you as to what kind of content you find most interesting and relevant. Stay tuned for a new section membership survey in the coming months!

I would like to use my time as chair to sharpen the focus of the Section’s efforts. We have historically provided content on a wide variety of technology topics—actuarial software, relationship with IT departments, Excel (and beyond) tips, R, emerging technology, and much more. This is great and it should continue. However, I would like to better define the role of the Technology Section and what we see as our primary areas of interest.

One such area, in my opinion, is to foster innovative uses of technology to benefit our membership as well as the SOA in general. On that topic, we have re-launched the Apps for Actuaries list, and also continue to provide the getAbstract service free to our members (see article in this issue).

I am excited to continue my term as chair, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can serve you better. You can contact me at