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Old 10-09-2015, 05:03 PM
mgt mgt is offline
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Default Are Actuaries Mathematicians?

Are actuaries considered mathematicians? I have taken and passed exam P, and while I have a strong foundation in undergraduate mathematics, I do not have the ability to schedule time to spend at the university in pursuing a doctorate in mathematics. Has anyone been able to develop skill at research level mathematics after having started out as an actuary?
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mgt View Post
Are actuaries considered mathematicians? I have taken and passed exam P, and while I have a strong foundation in undergraduate mathematics, I do not have the ability to schedule time to spend at the university in pursuing a doctorate in mathematics. Has anyone been able to develop skill at research level mathematics after having started out as an actuary?
No, we aren't (or at least shouldn't be).

Yes, I believe some have.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:20 PM
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Tom Struppeck became a professor after having worked as an actuary.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:20 PM
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I think that actuaries are applied mathematicians. Most graduate math programs are not particularly interested in applications.
Also, from some things I have read, breakthroughs in pure mathematics are done by people under 30. By the time the typical actuary is credentialed, there's not much time left.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:29 PM
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Thank you!
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mgt View Post
Are actuaries considered mathematicians? I have taken and passed exam P, and while I have a strong foundation in undergraduate mathematics, I do not have the ability to schedule time to spend at the university in pursuing a doctorate in mathematics. Has anyone been able to develop skill at research level mathematics after having started out as an actuary?
hello fellow mathematician...
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:47 PM
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Actuaries are definitely not mathematicians.. or they should not be considered them. I try to generally think of actuaries as people in business with specialties in mathematics rather than mathematicians with specialties in business. I was en route to a Ph.D in mathematics in college before pursuing actuarial and there is no way actuaries can be considered mathematicians. Maybe some higher up actuaries who are heavy on the technical/modeling side can have heavier emphases on statistics, however.

But I am sure there are a number of actuaries with the mathematical prowess to hold doctorates, however, they just chose a different path.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JMO View Post
I think that actuaries are applied mathematicians.
So they're like physicists?!

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Old 10-10-2015, 12:45 PM
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Actuaries use math (like addition and multiplication and Excel). That doesn't make them mathematicians.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:09 PM
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But I am sure there are a number of actuaries with the mathematical prowess to hold doctorates, however, they just chose a different path.
There are a fair number of us with PhD's in math. (I had no intention of becoming an actuary when I started out. It was simply a question of what use could I make of a PhD in math at a time when there were no teaching jobs available.) And I'm hardly alone.
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