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.


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 ( or Moon Nguyen ( or the Club VP Maddie Cope ( Students can also visit the website for ASC here and look for its addition to the Department page!

YSU to Hold 12th Annual MathFest

Students packed into the Chestnut Room.

At the beginning of August, students representing the YSU Ohio Xi chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon traveled to Portland, Oregon for the annual MAA MathFest, which is a joint meeting between the Math Association of America and Pi Mu Epsilon. Nine of the attending students gave presentations at the meeting. Crystal Mackey and Eric Shehadi, both of whom presented at the conference, were recognized for their excellence in student research. Also recognized at the event was George Yates. Yates received the Pi Mu Epsilon Advisor Award, which is given only once every three years.

YSU has its own YSU MathFest, where high school students are invited to learn about math in fun workshops designed by YSU faculty. This year’s 12th annual YSU MathFest will take place on October 23.

“YSU MathFest is one of the premiere YSU Math and Stats Department events where high school students are invited to YSU’s campus to spend the day celebrating and learning about math. High school students get the opportunity to meet YSU students, interact with YSU faculty members in workshops, and explore what its like to get an undergraduate degree in mathematics or STEM at YSU; but most importantly – have fun!” said Eric Shehadi, who is serving as the Student YSU MathFest Coordinator for the third year.

Some of the workshops offered this year include “Mathematics of Diversity in the Environment,” where students will learn about mathematical diversity and evaluating biodiversity indexes, “Are You a Terrorist?” where students will explore statistical methods used by agencies such as the NSA, and “Learning to Divide,” which explores dividing goods among several individuals so everyone feels they get what they deserve.

In addition to the workshops, students have the opportunity to participate in mathematical competitions prior to the event and at the event itself.

Student Spotlight: Eric Shehadi

Second from right, Eric Shehadi
Second from right, Eric Shehadi

Many STEM students are busy with school, social lives, and part-time jobs. Eric Shehadi, a junior mathematics student, is one of those students. While he does more than just his school work and hang out with friends, Eric finds time in his busy schedule to help with various clubs and organizations.

Community involvement is one of the most important aspects of Eric’s education. He is often found coordinating volunteer events for various organizations he participates in; for example, he brought a crew of Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Eric Shehadi”

Congrats MathFest Participants!

mathfest 2013
MathFest participants posing for a picture.

Congratulations to the 2013 MathFest participants! Eleven YSU undergraduate students from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics met with other students from around the nation to give oral presentations on mathematics and statistics principles in Hartford, Connecticut, July 31st through August 3rd. The students are exposed to different mathematics principles that occur throughout society and are encouraged to interact with students and faculty from other universities. Though no other school has ever won more than three awards at any MathFest, the YSU team won an astounding six awards, beating their 2005 and 2006 record of five awards!

Those students who were awarded for their excellence in student exposition and research are:

Cameron Bagheri– Applications of Linear Algebra to the Fibonacci Sequence
Michael Baker– A Study of Optical Gain in Three-Component Multilayered Films
Kim Do– Introduction to Combinatorial Game Theory and What Lies Underneath
Ashley Orr– Fourier and Wavelet Analysis: Extracting the Business Cycle
Sarah Ritchey– Residue Number System Algorithms for Signed Numbers
Eric Shehadi- Prioritizing Vacant Residential Properties for Demolition in Youngstown, Ohio

Other students who attended MathFest 2013 were Daniel Catello, Shawn Doyle, James Munyon, Blain Patterson, and Matthew Pierson. Continue reading “Congrats MathFest Participants!”

Summary report on MathFest 2011

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics had nine undergraduate students attend the Annual Summer Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and Pi Mu Epsilon (PME), commonly know as MathFest 2011 in Lexington, KY, August 3-6, 2011. All students gave oral presentations, and two students won awards for their talks. YSU students continued the tradition of being outstanding ambassadors of YSU, the STEM College and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and have won 27 best talk awards in the last seven years. Students attending and presenting:

Student Hometown Title of Presentation
Michael Coates Niles, OH Anomalous Cancellation
Jason Cooke Youngstown, OH Multiple Private Keys in RSA
* Mario Sracic Hermitage, PA Cryptology & Quantum Computing
Daniel Catello Youngstown, OH Using Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
Tara Sansom Sandy Lake, PA Bacterial Growth and Metabolism of Toxins
Bradley Slabe Youngstown, OH Modeling Enzyme Kinetics in ABE Fermentation
Sarah Ritchey Sharon, PA Adding Harmony to the Harmonic Series
** Sepideh Khavari Howland, OH Time-to-Peak Response in Biological Systems
Matthew Alexander Espyville, PA Proof and Application of Leibniz’s Formula

* Award for excellence in student exposition and research sponsored by the American Mathematical Society and the American Statistical Association.
** Janet L. Andersen Award for outstanding exposition and research in Mathematical or Computational Biology sponsored by the MAA Special Interest Group in Mathematical Biology.

MathFest 2011, Lexington, KY. Left to right, Tara Sansom, Sarah Ritchey, Sepideh Khavari, Dan Catello (kneeling), Michael Coates, Bradley Slabe, Mario Sracic, Matt Alexander and Jason Cooke.

The real value of participating in this and other conferences is to expose our students to the variety of mathematics that occurs throughout society and to encourage interactions with students and faculty from other Universities. Another goal is to excite students about mathematics and involve them in professional activities that lead to a lifetime of learning.

Drs. Faires, Ritchey, Spalsbury, Wakefield and Yates also attended MathFest 2011. Thanks also to faculty who advised students on their projects. This included: Drs. Pollack, Ritchey, Smotzer, Wingler and Yates.

We are grateful for support from: The STEM College, the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, CURMath, Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematical Association of America, and NSF grant DBI-0827205.