The conference was also attended by students Katie Byer, Brittney Lind, and Holly Sullivan, and math faculty, Adam Goyt.

]]>Actuary is the number one career in America according to careercast.com. Actuaries analyze financial costs of risk and uncertainty, and use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

Students at Minnesota State University Moorhead can receive their degree in mathematics with an emphasis in actuarial science. One of the many perks to studying actuarial science at MSUM is 100 percent job placement after graduation.

According to bls.gov, “employment of actuaries is expected to grow 27 percent between now and 2020. Students with internship experience who have passed at least one actuarial exam while in school should have the best prospects for entry-level positions.”

MSUM prepares students on topics for the first three actuarial exams, making them highly desirable job candidates.

“Our program combines traditional mathematics and statistics courses with a solid foundation in economics, accounting and finance,” Professor Aggie Chadraa said. “This provides students with a professional advantage and will set them apart from graduates of many other actuarial science programs.”

A group of MSUM students started the Actuarial Science Club last year, and in the same year MSUM posted its program under the category of Advanced-Undergraduate on the SOA’s Actuarial College Listing (ACL). The ACL is a resource tool where universities self-report their program’s offerings to those seeking institutions with actuarial and/or actuarial-related offerings.

In its short existence, the Actuarial Science Club has made an impact by securing $585 in funding to purchase exam study materials to prepare for the first two actuarial exams. The exam pass rate of MSUM actuarial students is higher than the national average.

The club also secured funds for eight students and Professor Chadraa to attend the Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics Career Fair in Minneapolis in October. As a direct result from attending the fair, one student has been hired full-time, and two students received internships for the summer.

Holly Sullivan, a mathematics major with an actuarial science and computation emphasis and finance minor, secured a summer internship at Mercer Consulting, one of the largest human resources and financial services consulting firms in the world.

“They were hiring one to two interns for the summer and told me they hire almost every intern on as entry-level actuaries upon graduation, so I am thrilled to be in the position I’m in now,” Sullivan said. “I was chosen for the internship because of my strong problem-solving and mathematical skills. Moreover, my ability to communicate effectively about actuarial models to non-actuaries, such as industrial professionals and clients.”

Dustin Holmes, a mathematics major with a computational emphasis, has passed three actuarial exams and received multiple offers – an internship offer from Allianz Life Insurance, the leading provider of annuities and life insurance in North America, and an employment offer from Milliman, one of the world’s largest providers of actuarial and related products.

“I think what set me apart from other candidates is my programming background and passing the actuarial exams. The exams usually take about three months of studying each and have very low pass rates, so being able to pass three while working and going to school set me apart from most students.”

Holmes credited the community at MSUM in preparing him for success.

“I feel the close knit community between Professor Chadraa and the other actuary students has been the biggest help to preparing for this opportunity. Several of us have formed study groups around test times and everyone is very encouraging when it is easy to become overwhelmed,” Holmes said. “I feel very fortunate that I attend a school that has a professor that is as involved as Professor Chadraa.”

**Additional student successes:**

- Andrew Nelson, math major with actuarial emphasis, secured an internship position at BMS Group. He will be working as a catastrophe modeler. BMS is a specialist insurance group built around teams of experts in the fields of Wholesale, Reinsurance, Direct Insurance and Underwriting. The company is headquartered in the City of London, the financial district in the heart of London, UK, and has offices in Australia, Bermuda and throughout North America.
- Wesley Teo, a physics graduate who came back to get his actuarial emphasis, successfully passed Exam 1 (Probability).

To learn more about MSUM’s program, visit www.mnstate.edu/math.

]]>It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Adam Goyt, Mathematics Department, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014-2015 Dille Outstanding Faculty Lecturer Award. Dr. Goyt will be honored at a campus award ceremony next fall, during which he will present a lecture of his choosing. Please join me in extending congratulations to Dr. Goyt for this achievement, as well as appreciation for his continued dedication to our students.

]]>Arrangements by Korsmo Funeral Service.

]]>**The Banach-Tarski Paradox – Can Matter Really be Doubled?**

By Adam M. Goyt

Friday, Jan. 24

3 p.m.

325 Hagen Hall

The Banach-Tarski Paradox says that one can divide a three-dimensional sphere into a finite number of pieces and reassemble them to form two spheres, each the same size as the original one. This incredibly counter-intuitive theorem has inter- ested mathematicians since its publication in 1924. The proof of the Banach-Tarski paradox requires the controversial Axiom of Choice, uses the fact that there are sets of points whose size cannot be determined, and depends heavily on properties of infinity. We will discuss these challenging parts of the proof, and discuss some theoretical physics that may give evidence of the Banach-Tarski paradox in the real world.

]]>In 1957 Marion V. Smith (1945-1982 M.A., University of Minnesota) was “the Mathematics Department”. This title was inherited from Katharine Leonard (1906-1944). This title was actually a misnomer since the Mathematics Department, as now construed, did not officially come into existence until 1960. In 1957 Dr. Genevieve King was the chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics and Marion Smith was the member of the department in charge of mathematical “content” courses. Marion assisted on a part-time basis with the teaching of pre-calculus courses and mathematical methods course for elementary and secondary teachers by (among others) Shelda Jacobson (Warren), a mathematics instructor in the college’s campus high school. Then, the mathematics major, requiring 36 quarter credits, was not limited by Marion’s abilities, but rather by the hours in a day. Until 1966, when teaching loads were reduced to 12 hours per week, it was not unusual to tech 18, 20 or even more hours per week, of which Marion frequently did. Despite the limitations of a one person department several of Marion’s students later earned graduate degrees and went on to have successful college and university teaching careers. In 1960 the Department of Mathematics was formed with Marion as the chairperson and the full-time faculty numbered two when Everett Warren joined the department. In the early sixties Marion led the way in updating the department’s curriculum. She frequently attended NSF Summer Institutes and upon returning, introduced new courses into the curriculum. Marion started courses in probability and statistics, abstract and linear algebra, advanced calculus, real analysis, number theory and computer programming. Along with Everett Warren, Intro to Mathematics and Mathematics for Elementary Teachers were also started. Upon Marion’s retirement in 1982, the Department of Mathematics had increased to 19 tenured or tenure tracked faculty members.

]]>The Society of Actuaries has categorized the Actuarial Program in the Department of Mathematics as an Advanced Undergraduate Program. MSUM is the one of the three universities in Minnesota that has such advanced program, and only one in the Tri-College area. Visit the Society of Actuaries website more information.

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries work in all sectors of the economy, though they are more heavily represented in the financial services sector, including insurance companies, commercial banks, and investment banks. Actuaries are sought-after professionals, and the career ranks high in almost every category, such as salary, work environment, employment outlook, job security, and growth opportunity. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal listed the occupation as the best job in the United States.

An actuary achieves professional status by passing examinations to prove a certain level of knowledge. MSUM Actuarial Program offers a set of courses to prepare students for those examinations. Our program combines traditional mathematics and statistics courses with a solid foundation in economics, accounting and finance. This provides the students with a professional advantage and will set them apart from graduates of many other actuarial science programs.

The Actuarial Science Club, advised by Dr. Aggie Chadraa, Mathematics, was newly organized this year and has about 20 members so far. The club is planning a trip to Minneapolis this October to attend the Annual Career Fair organized by University of Minnesota. It is a two-day event for students to connect with financial and insurance companies and find internships or full time employment. If you are interested in becoming an actuary and/or joining the club, please contact Dr. Chadraa (erdenebaatar.chadraa@mnstate.edu) for more details.

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