Student Organization: Actuarial Science Club

Actuarial science is the career field that applies mathematical and statistical methods to calculate risk in insurance, finance, and other industries or professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified through intense education and real-life experiences. Actuarial science includes several interrelated subjects, including mathematics, probability theory, statistics, finance, economics, and computer science.

ASC

The Actuarial Science Club (ASC) has been at YSU for approximately ten years. The club was created to provide opportunities for students interested in actuarial science careers. In this club, students can learn more about the profession through speakers from the industry, attendance at conferences and career/internship fairs.

Dr. Thomas Wakefield is the co-advisor of the Actuarial Science Club and he is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. Dr. Moon Nyugen is also a co-advisor of ASC; she is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. As the advisors, Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Nyugen work diligently to provide all the members of the club with adequate resources for their future.

“There are currently about 20 members in the Actuarial Science Club and there are no requirements to join our club,” said Aaron Loveless, President of ASC.

There are many students who do not know anything about the actuarial science field. For that very reason, ASC provides students with information that allows them to make an informed decision as to whether actuarial science is the career for them. The club also provides its members with extremely beneficial study tips and practice for actuarial examinations.

“The organization typically brings 1-2 speakers from industry in each year,” said Dr. Wakefield. “In the past YSU grads have returned to talk about their experiences working in the insurance industry.”

Several members of ASC are also preparing to attend the Midwest Actuary Student Conference at the University of Iowa at the end of September.

ASC is also involved in several aspects of campus life. They frequently partner with the other math clubs (Pi Mu Epsilon, AWM, SIAM) to support various activities each semester within the Math Department.

Any student who is considering a degree in the actuarial field is encouraged to contact Dr. Thomas Wakefield (tpwakefield@ysu.edu) or Moon Nguyen (ntnguyen01@ysu.edu) or the Club VP Maddie Cope (mcope01@student.ysu.edu). Students can also visit the website for ASC here and look for its addition to the Department page!

YSU’s Math Assistance Center: New and Improved

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Thanks to student responses from surveys regarding the methods, atmosphere, and all-around effectiveness of the Math Assistance Center (M.A.C.), many changes have occurred in the M.A.C. and many more are on the way.

Among the changes include increases in tutor staff, access to additional computers, and an expansion of online services.

“We conducted a survey at the end of last semester, based on student feedback it was evident that we didn’t have enough computers, and since most of the math homework is done online, students needed access to more computers,” said coordinator Lance Williams.

The way the tutors work with the students is also important. Whiteboards are a really useful tool for small groups working with one tutor.

“Whiteboards. This was yet another resource that students called for. Some students find it very helpful to do problems on the board. It’s easier for them to do problems that way; they can visualize it, they can see all the steps,” Lance said.

One of the new resources the M.A.C. is providing for students is online virtual tutoring. These two-hour sessions are held twice a week. Students can see and listen to tutors work on textbook problems in real-time. A live chat and audio feed are also available for students who would like to ask questions.

“During the first hour of a typical online session, tutors will go over about ten to twelve select problems, followed by a Q&A session during the last hour,” said Lance.

Virtual tutoring is a brand new service, so it is currently only offered for Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 students.

“Our goal is to offer more services of support over time, and so if it’s successful with calc 1 and calc 2 then we’re going to expand into other areas,” Lance said.

As we get further into the semester, it’s important for students to know that there is academic support available for them if they need it. The M.A.C. also offers face-to-face workshops and review sessions for final exams.

All tutoring and final exam reviews are performed on a walk-in basis, so students no longer need to schedule an appointment ahead of time to get the assistance they need.

Lance encourages students to return to the M.A.C. even if their first visit isn’t very successful. Sometimes a different tutor or a different approach can make all the difference. Feedback from students is always welcome; the M.A.C. is continually looking for ways to improve its services. After all, student feedback is how most of the recent improvements came to be.

The Math Assistance Center is located in room 408 on the fourth floor of Lincoln Hall. More information about the M.A.C. can be found online at web.ysu.edu/stem/mac. Students can also receive important M.A.C. updates through social media (Facebook and Twitter).

Dr. Wakefield named a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries

Dr. Tom WakefieldYSU STEM’s faculty are some of the best. Our faculty is always working hard, putting STEM on the map.

Most recently, Dr. Tom Wakefield, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been named a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

In order to receive this title, applicants must already be members of the Society of Actuaries, along with completing a set of education requirements and passing various exams and completing and presenting a project. Dr. Wakefield did his project on quantitative finance.

According to the Society of Actuaries 2014 Annual Report, there are 15,729 Fellows worldwide.

“There are less than 150 Fellows employed at colleges and universities worldwide, and I am the only full-time faculty member in Ohio with this designation,” Dr. Wakefield said.

Dr. Wakefield said he thought it was important for him to experience the actuarial examination process since he is an advisor for students interested in actuarial science.

“I feel more knowledgeable about the process and now have this perspective which will be valuable when advising students. Fellows also have the opportunity to offer input into the content and design of the examinations, which will be useful to me as the profession changes,” Dr. Wakefield said. “One of the goals of the Society of Actuaries is to strengthen ties between academia and the profession and achieving this designation makes me feel more connected to the actuarial community.”