Actuarial science celebrates success on 60th anniversary

The actuarial science program is celebrating its 60th anniversary at the University with a Risk Analytics Symposium and an Illinois Actuarial Science Reception on Thursday, May 16.

The symposium provides practitioners, academics and students a venue to discuss the latest technological development and discoveries, trending industrial research in actuarial science, risk management and advanced analytics at the new Illinois Risk Lab connected to the program.

The Risk Analytics Symposium will be held at the Illini Center in Chicago from 8:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“While there have been lots of conferences on data science, the Risk Analytics Symposium is the first of its kind to focus on advanced analytics applied to uncertainty quantification and risk management,” Runhuan Feng, the head of actuarial science at the University, said in an email.

The reception is an opportunity for alums to catch up with classmates and learn about new developments such as a new mathematical sciences building.

Feng said these gatherings provide a great opportunity for investors and alums to recognize the strides the program has made in 60 years, as well as the imminent talents of the program’s students and recent graduates.

“I would consider it as a huge success if we can get industry professionals to recognize that Illinois has become a leading voice on the academic-industry partnership on analytics research,” Feng said. “As we build up a reputation of producing relevant and impactful research, we expect that more companies will be interested in partnering with Illinois Risk Lab, enabling us to provide students with more experiential learning opportunities.”

Feng said in 60 years, actuarial science at the University has grown from a small program to a nationally-recognized producer of the world’s leaders in analytics, a feat showcased by its recent recognition by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence.

“The Illinois actuarial science program has doubled in size over the last decade,” Feng said. “It now produces about 7% of all actuarial science graduates in the nation each year for the last few years and is often ranked among top three actuarial science programs in national rankings.”

Feng said the program is dedicated to making continued changes in order to adapt to a rapidly changing analytics field.

“The actuarial science group is partnering with mathematics, statistics and finance department administrations to develop a new joint master’s program in Predictive Analytics and Risk Management,” Feng said. “If successful, the new program would enable Illinois to establish itself as one of the innovators in preparing students for the nascent profession of predictive analytics.”

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