Organization of Actuarial Students
Over the years, hundreds of Stony Brook AMS majors have pursued careers as actuaries. For decades, an actuary has been ranked as one of the top 10 careers-- often in the top 3-- based on salary, job security, satisfaction, etc. (see CareerCast annual job rankings). Stony Brook’s student club Organization of Actuarial Students (OAS) has a Facebook page with 390 followers, all current or former Stony Brook students. The club meets monthly with speakers from the actuarial profession, typical AMS grads. The club also organizes study groups to help students prepare for the initial Actuarial Exams, which are critical to employment and advancement in the profession. Liam Heath is the current OAS president and Professor Alan Tucker is the club’s faculty advisor.
Alan Tucker, OAS advisor; Amy Waldhauer, speaker; Liam Heath, OAS president
The November 2018 OAS meeting featured a presentation by Amy Waldhauer, a Fellow
of the Casualty Actuarial Society who works for the insurance consulting firm Alan
Gray. Amy discussed the core areas of the casualty business: determining insurance
rates, estimating claim liabilities, financial risk analysis, and following insurance
regulations. She also talked about exciting new fields of insurance. One example
is how climate change models are being used to adjust standard projections for long-term
losses in a wide range of types of insurance. An emerging technological area is using
machine learning to set rates for more narrowly defined cohorts of the population.
For example, traditionally all men from 17 to 24 have been charged a common rate,
but machine-learning analysis of claims for such men can identify safe-driving cohorts
who deserve lower rates (and poor-driving cohorts who would have higher rates). Another
example is microinsurance for small farmers in developing countries--the World Bank
and similar organizations want to insure these farmers from crop losses but the standard
procedures for documenting the loss of an individual farmer would cost more than the
actual loss. To get around this problem, insurers have tied policies to ‘trigger
events’, such as a given amount of rainfall in a month, that would automatically generate
claim payments to farmers.
Amy displayed the following chart that lays out the career progression in the Casualty
Actuary Society (CAS) Exams.
The other major actuarial organization, the Society of Actuaries, has a different sequence of exams including several subtracks, although both organizations use the same first three exams.