New Actuaries Say Mathematica Is "a Wonderful Way
14, 2000--Wolfram Research and ACTEX Publications, Inc. have
collaborated to produce a new edition of their interactive, computer-based
reference on actuarial models and the modeling process for use by members
and test takers of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial
Society (CAS). Actuaries are professionals trained in math, statistics,
calculus, economics, and probability who apply their skills to the assessment
of risk in financial fields such as investments, insurance, and employee
benefits. To become an associate member of either society, one must
successfully complete a series of comprehensive examinations for which the
societies publish a list of required, as well as recommended, reading and
ACTEX is a publisher of many of the professional and exam-preparation
materials used by the society's members and test takers. The new
CD-ROM, titled An Introduction to Actuarial Models and Modeling: An
Interactive Approach, is used primarily by actuarial students
the Course 3 and 4 Examinations, which are coadministered by the SOA and
the CAS. It is a uniquely potent product that combines the expertise and name
recognition that ACTEX has built up over more than 25 years in actuarial
exam study and preparation with the unrivaled computational
power and leading-edge technology of Mathematica.
Professor Bruce Jones, a Fellow of the SOA who occupies the Richter Chair
of Actuarial Science at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario,
conceived of and wrote the study guide. Says Jones, "The actuarial education
system relies heavily on self-study. However, many of the important ideas in
modeling are difficult to appreciate without hands-on exposure to them.
This interactive product allows one to achieve this in a self-study setting."
The guide gives the SOA, the CAS, and their members access to an integrated
technical computing system in a straightforward way so that they may be
exposed to the utility and flexibility of Mathematica as a
The interactive study guide, based on a full Mathematica kernel, was
initially released last year. The revised version uses a fully customized
user interface, and the accompanying examples and documentation have been
updated as well. Denise Rosengrant from Mad River Books says, "Overall, users
have found this to be a very good study aid." Some students have found
the CD-ROM to be a great supplement to the texts for Exam 3 because "it
makes clear much of the material through visuals and interactive use."
The interactive CD-ROM
is currently available only through Mad River Books. A complete listing of
publications is also available.