October 2015

50th Annual Actuarial Research Conference: University of Toronto

By Sam Broverman

The University of Toronto is proud to have hosted the 50th annual Actuarial Research Conference (ARC). The conference took place from Wednesday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 8 at historic Victoria College on the U of Toronto campus. In 2015, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries also celebrates 50 years since its founding. In addition, the University of Toronto celebrates (at least) 130 years of actuarial education.

Almost 250 people registered for this year’s ARC. This is the largest attendance that the ARC has had to date. There were almost 120 papers presented in the 35 parallel sessions of contributed papers and special sessions. The parallel sessions covered more than a dozen topics from Actuarial Education to Statistical Methods (almost A to Z), most with multiple parallel sessions. In addition, there were several sessions on special topics including one on Software Innovation for High Performance Actuarial Modelling, an SOA Entrepreneur Section panel and a session on Emerging Trends in P&C Insurance.

There were two invited plenary speakers. Prof. Rob Tibshirani of Stanford University, a world renowned expert in statistical learning, spoke on Thursday, Aug. 6. On Friday, Aug. 7, the plenary lecture was given by Prof. Mogens Steffensen of the University of Copenhagen, a world leading expert in the mathematics of life insurance.

The conference organizers extend their deep gratitude to the various sponsors who so generously contributed support for the conference. The three professional societies, CIA, CAS, and SOA were sponsors along with Canada/Great West Life, Coaching Actuaries, Manulife Financial, Munich Re, RSA, Sun Life, and Towers Watson. In addition, at the CIA sponsored reception on Thursday, the CIA presented to the University of Toronto Actuarial Science Program a plaque commemorating 130 years of actuarial education at the University of Toronto.

Additional information about the conference, including a detailed program and a list of conference participants can be found at the conference website. We are looking forward to a great ARC next year in Minneapolis-St. Paul, jointly hosted by the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas.

Sam Broverman is a professor at the University of Toronto and the chair of the local organizing committee for the 2015 Actuarial Research Conference. He can be reached at sam@utstat.toronto.edu.