October 2013

Chairperson’s Corner

By James Trimble

As I write this, the SOA annual meeting is about one month away. The Education & Research (E&R) section is sponsoring three sessions at that meeting which together highlight the work of our section—the “E” and the “R.” The first is a breakfast session on “Highlights of the Actuarial Research Conference.” The Actuarial Research Conference (ARC), an annual event held in July or August, is the keystone event of our section. Students and faculty alike have an opportunity to share their research with others and, of course, to network. There is always high attendance by academics, and this year’s conference, held at Temple University, was no exception. Unfortunately, the ARC is not well attended by non-academics. This year we are bringing a small part of the ARC to the industry, at the annual meeting. Brian Hartman and Chris Groendyke will present a talk on Model Selection in Regime-Switching Models of Various Types and Michael Loginov will give an encore presentation of his talk on Predictive Modeling in Health Care Costs using Regression Techniques.

Continuing with our theme of the ties between academia and industry, our second session is titled “Examples of University Programs for Academic/Practitioner Collaboration.” The session will provide examples of university programs with a successful record of collaboration between academics and practicing actuaries working on problems that are directly relevant to industry. Kristen Moore will moderate this session, which includes panelists Jay Vadiveloo of the University of Connecticut and Rick Gorvett from the University of Illinois.

Finally, our third session, “The Current State of Actuarial Education,” will focus on the value-added aspects of university education. Bruce Jones will be discussing courses which focus on actuarial examination topics, while I will address ways in which a university education goes beyond the exams in preparing students for a successful actuarial career. Jason Vary will round out the session by discussing the University Accreditation Program in Canada, which was effective in the fall of 2012.

I am personally very excited by the sessions that the E&R section is sponsoring at the annual meeting. Together, they demonstrate the breadth of our activities in both education and research, and, importantly, the ties between academia and industry. I hope that many of you will attend these sessions, and encourage others to attend as well.

On a personal note, I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as chairperson of the E&R Section Council. It’s hard to believe it is almost over already. We have an active council that serves our section well. I also want to thank all of you that supported my candidacy and helped me get elected to the SOA Board this year. I am truly honored to have been elected and I look forward to serving the SOA membership in that role.

James Trimble, FSA, CERA, MAAA, is Director of the Actuarial Science Program at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. He can be reached at James.Trimble@uconn.edu.