Promoting Collaboration Among Businesses and Academia

An update from the SOA’s Education & Research Section David Hudak

As stated in its mission statement, the Education & Research (E&R) Section has a strong focus on supporting and encouraging actuarial education and research. One way this is done is by promoting collaboration among business and academic actuaries, both in terms of research and education.

The biggest activity the E&R Section supports is the annual Actuarial Research Conference (ARC). This is an international conference that is sponsored by a different university each year. In past years, the ARC has taken place in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The conference is a venue where actuaries from both industry and academia can meet and present cutting-edge research in the actuarial field.

The 2016 ARC was sponsored jointly by the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. Talks consisted of current research from academics and industry, as well as from graduate students. The conference was very successful and featured over 100 talks. Georgia State University will sponsor the 2017 ARC in Atlanta.

The E&R council is also active in sponsoring sessions at other actuarial conferences. The council typically sponsors sessions and breakfasts at the SOA’s Life and Annuity Symposium, Health Care Meetings and Annual Meeting & Exhibit. The council also publishes a newsletter, Expanding Horizons, twice a year. The newsletter covers a wide variety of engaging topics ranging from research areas of interest, innovative actuarial teaching methods and diversity in the actuarial profession.

The council plans to expand its role in the ever-changing actuarial world, and it invites suggestions and participation from the actuarial community.

David Hudak, ASA, Ph.D., is department head, Mathematics, at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. He is also the chair of the Education & Research Section at the Society of Actuaries.

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