By Yvonne Chueh
Connect, volunteer and serve. Yes, this is what we enjoy doing with your dedicated support. The Education and Research (E&R) Section Council continues the momentum this year with motivation to sail into the changing seas. I am excited to write about section activities and new implementations for the first time as chairperson of the council. The mission of the council is to:
“Facilitate expanding the knowledge base of the actuarial profession, promote ties between business actuaries, academic actuaries and actuarial educators, and seek ways to support and encourage actuarial education and research.”
In keeping with this mission, passed down to me by David Hudak, the former council chair, I am pleased to announce that Western University (WU) in London, Ontario, Canada has been awarded the honor of hosting the 2018 Actuarial Research Conference (ARC). WU, formerly well known as the University of Western Ontario, has a rich tradition of developing actuarial science education and research and will be an excellent venue for the event.
The 2017 ARC will be sponsored by Georgia State University (GSU). The conference’s planning committee is working hard with the council to make this another excellent event. Presentations will consist of current research from academics and industry practitioners, as well as from graduate students. As in the past, awards will be given for the very best presentations among graduate students. With over 100 talks and posters planned, we encourage participation, as this is a great way to share innovative research techniques with the actuarial profession. A more detailed article on the 2017 ARC at GSU is included in this issue of the newsletter.
The council is always looking for new avenues to benefit the actuarial community and in November 2016, the council co-sponsored its first webcast with the Health Section with a tremendous success of over 100 participating sites. Planning is underway for a future webcast on an agriculture related topic. This is a great opportunity for the council to combine our talent with the other special interest sections in disseminating information to the actuarial community. We are always interested in potential collaborations with other sections so please contact our current webcast coordinator, Ian Duncan, if you have any ideas on ways we can work together.
The E&R Section Council is also active in sponsoring sessions at other actuarial conferences. Sessions and breakfasts will be sponsored by the council at this year’s upcoming Life and Annuity Symposium in May, Health Meeting in June and the 2017 SOA Annual Meeting & Exhibit in October. More recently, the E&R council sponsored a breakfast as well as several sessions at the 2016 SOA Annual Meeting & Exhibit with the help of Brian Hartman. These events discussed various actuarial hot topics and were well attended with the breakfast being standing room only. More information on these events can be found throughout this issue of the newsletter.
Our section also has a newly designed section web page! The E&R Section home page will be updated throughout the year with the activities and offerings of the section, including research activity, upcoming sessions at conferences, webcasts, and other useful information. You will note that there are now tabs at the top of the home page to help you quickly navigate different areas, including past newsletter issues. In addition, a new Volunteer Opportunities Database has been launched to connect interested member volunteers with opportunities. Please contact our Council Webpage Liaison Brenna Richins or Volunteer Database Liaison Emiliano Valdez if you have an activity to announce, suggest, or an event to volunteer.
The council consists of a group of dedicated individuals including nine elected members. Invaluable support and advice is given through SOA section specialist, Jane Lesch and senior staff fellow, Stuart Klugman, as well as various friends of the council, many of whom are former council members. The council is also kept up to date on education and examination updates and offers opinions on items of importance. I would like to thank all of these individuals for their time and dedication to make our council meaningful. I also would like to thank all our current E&R Section members for your ongoing support, and wish you a wonderful spring sail of life.
Yvonne Chueh, ASA, is professor of Actuarial Science, Statistics, Mathematics, and Computational Science at Central Washington University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.cwu.edu/faculty/chueh.