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http://www.casact.org/dare/index.cfm...w&abstrID=3400 Brad 
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My thoughts exactly! 
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I find they are to hard to fit. And Shaun Wang's papers in general are a must read IMO. (Though I have never seen this one, thanks!) 
I'm in the process of learning VBA right now. I have bought an online selfpaced bundle of desktop applications that include Access, Excel, VBA, and others.
The lesson format gives you the choice of full tutotiral, guided, or let me try. The let me try has the option of a hint button if you get stuck. After the main lesson, a multiple choice quiz is given at the end. After using Excel in an internship without any formal training, I love these tutorials. :study: 
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I am learning how to use Excel VBA. So far, it seems, well,...rudimentaryin comparsion to what I know how to do with Mathematica. But it's clear that you can create nonmathematical programs in VBA, and if the industry is expecting it as part of my skill set, then so be it.
Some time ago I wrote a Mathematica program that solved Sudoku puzzles through recursive application of rulebased manipulation and process of elimination, much in the way that humans dorather than by brute force guessing. Mathematica also has better handling of numerical erroryears ago, I once tried to do a nonlinear fit in Excel that resulted in a numerically unstable result, whereas Mathematica did it perfectly. I should hope Excel has evolved since then to handle such situations better. I wonder why Mathematica is not used in the actuarial field...? Is it the price? Is it the lack of relevance? Is it because Excel is used by nonactuarial sectors to visually organize and manipulate data? 
For things like nonlinear fits, I would recommend using SAS or something similar. I think of using Excel in actuarial field as mostly a nice way to present / summarize data. Just like I would use access for database manipulation and SAS (or something similar) for heavy duty statistics. I think Mathematica is expensive (probably on par with SAS so that's not really a good argument) but I don't know of any statistical task that SAS can't do but Mathematica can (not sure about vice versa).

I just discovered that if I put the cursor on a word in my VBA program (e.g. GetFileName) and press F1, the help screen regarding that method/function/object/whatever comes up.
This is much faster than digging through the help for language reference  methods  G  GetFileName. Or, just type a keyword temporarily and backspace and hit F1 to quickly get help about it. 
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Brad 
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