October 2015

Chairperson's Corner

By Rick Gorvett

My three-year term on the Education and Research Section Council, and my year as E&R Council chair, are coming to an end. As a casualty actuary, this opportunity to serve the SOA and its members has been satisfying and appreciated. I’ve met many wonderful actuaries I might never have met otherwise, and have gotten to know many other prior acquaintances much better. And the work of the council—education and research—well, I’ll certainly miss this important work.

And yet, there are many ways that anyone can engage with the E&R section and its important activities—including and beyond being a council member or a friend of the council. The (50th) annual Actuarial Research Conference was recently held in Toronto. This was as well-attended an ARC as I can recall, with so many presentations of current research that there were typically four or five concurrent sessions running over the two-and-a-half days of the conference. The growth in the ARC over the years is certainly a manifestation of increasing interest and activity in risk and actuarial research, and I find it gratifying how much of that research these days is directly relevant to practitioners, or at least has overtones of applicability. For more information about the ARC, please see the article by Sam Broverman, the conference organizer, in this issue of Expanding Horizons.

The E&R section sponsors and organizes sessions at several annual SOA meetings, including the Annual Meeting, the Life and Annuity Symposium, and the Health Meeting. Speaking of “health,” and the health sector of our profession, this issue offers material on recent health research, which certainly has significance and relevance for local and global health care concerns.

On the teaching side, you will find an article in this issue that describes the SOA’s recent teaching conference, held this past summer in Indianapolis—another very well-attended event. Also, Mark Maxwell, a very fine actuarial science teacher at the University of Texas, provides an additional article on teaching in our field. Overall, another interesting and diverse issue of our newsletter, for which David Hudak, who has assembled the last four issues, deserves our thanks.

Many thanks for the opportunity to serve, and for all the dedicated members of the E&R council and its friends.

Rick Gorvett is director of the Actuarial Science Program, and the State Farm Companies Foundation Scholar in Actuarial Science, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.