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  #1  
Old 04-02-2012, 01:39 PM
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Default R or C++

If you had to pick one to master, which one would you choose?

Currently I'm decent at Excel/VBA. Not expert level because most of the time I have to rely on modifying code already written.

R I can do basic statistical analysis with, but I never used it for programming on my own. Are there actuarial jobs that ask people to do more with R?

And C++ I just suck at.

Don't say both because I have time constraints and exams to prepare for, sadly.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:02 PM
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R.

Useful knowledge of R implies useful statistical or graphical representation knowledge. There is no such implication for C++, but learning R well means that you will build useful skills in other areas also.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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Do you know any R training courses online? I know a C++ online course through gameinstitute that teaches you C++, but I was trying to find a similar one for R. I can do basic regression analysis and time series stuff in R but I'll often get stuck when I try to build upon that.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:04 PM
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The short answer is "no, I don't know anyR training courses online." However, many statistics books are based on using R for demonstrations and homework. I've been impressed by the books by Faraway. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...+faraway&ajr=0
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:40 PM
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it depends on what your ultimate goal is. if your goal is to develop commercial software, then C++, if your goal is to provide robust statistical models and analyses, then R.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:27 PM
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this is nonsense, alot of the basic routines in R are witten in C.
You stand on the shoulders of giants by learning R.

If you want to create commercial software, which is another way of saying of "GUI with pretty stuff" then learn java.

If your interracting with multiple software then use python.

if your creating your own simulation routine that you cannot find how to do in R then use C.

if your data is huge use revolution R. or hack a solution with python and R.

if you want the best performance go to assembly.

if you want other people to understand what you did, well there is no software for IQ.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:32 PM
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Are either useful for actuarial work? I'm already competent at Excel/VBA and I'm trying to see what else I should pick up.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:48 PM
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what kind of actuarial work? it seems some p/c actuaries use R. i haven't encountered any use of R yet on the SOA side, but there may be some. there is some actuarial software out there that i know of where knowing C++ syntax is useful for adding custom code. VBA seems most useful for work that you are integrating into departmental processes. i hate java for some reason, irrationally so.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiaoxin View Post
Are either useful for actuarial work? I'm already competent at Excel/VBA and I'm trying to see what else I should pick up.
R makes the most sense for actuarial work it seems to me.
If statistics is to become more and more important in actuarial work, then R is a really good language to bet on.

C++ might be useful for the few actuaries who do financial engineering.
It's widely used in quant finance that's for sure.

Learning R might even prove useful for your vba programming:

I dabbled a bit in python and some other languages before having to work in VBA and it shows in my code compared to that of my predecessors. In the other languages there was great emphasis on modularity, passing functions around, thinking in terms of how data is transformed and mapped from one format to the other. Those ideas aren't all directly applicable in VBA but they influenced me in a positive way I think.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:23 PM
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There are some more suggestions in this thread
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=237517

Here are some things that you could do to learn R,
  • Take some work data, export it to a csv file, learn to bring it into R and do the same thing in R that you're doing in Excel. Make some pretty graphs.
  • Get out your investments book, download stock prices into R directly from teh internets and do all that Cap M, portfolio maximizing efficient fromtier stuff with the data. Make some pretty graphs.
  • get Baseball Hacks There's a chapter in R in it. Learn about Chernoff faces and make some pretty graphs.
  • Download some NFL data and start getting ready for fantasy season by projecting future performance of players. Make some pretty graphs.
  • Learn to create maps with R

Find something you do in Excel and try to do it in R.
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