News & Events

News

Two professors from the Faculty of Mathematics have been named NSERC Canada Research Chairs. Ruodu Wang, professor of actuarial science and quantitative finance, has been named a Tier 1 NSERC CRC in Quantitative Risk Management, and Aukosh Jagannath, assistant professor of statistics and actuarial science, has been named a Tier 2 NSERC CRC in Mathematical Foundations of Data Science.

Continue reading on the Faculty of Math website.

More than 150 students participated last week in the second annual Scotiabank Data Science Discovery Days.

The event, which took place both online and on campus from January 26 to February 2, invited Waterloo students to analyze large volumes of data in projects that would emulate the real work data scientists di every day. This year, the event focused on “Using AI to derive business insights from customer feedback.”

Read the full article on the Faculty of Math site.

The fourth annual Student Conference in Statistics, Actuarial Science, and Finance took place on October 27 & 28, 2023. This two-day event was entirely organized by and for students.

The conference featured keynote presentations by prominent researchers, including Agostino Capponi (Columbia University) and Grace Yi (Western University). Additionally, 30+ student researchers from various universities presented their research findings.

Highlighting excellence, the conference acknowledged outstanding talks at the conference by issuing 6 Presentation Awards to the following participants:

The winners in alphabetic order are:

  • Luke Hagar, University of Waterloo  
  • Dingding Hu, University of Waterloo  
  • Yifan Li, University of Western Ontario  
  • Dante Mata Lopez, UQAM  
  • Zachary Van Oosten, University of Waterloo  
  • Augustine Wigle, University of Waterloo 

 Honourable mentions go out to: 

  • Yuling (Max) Chen, University of Waterloo 
  • Hwanwoo Kim, University of Chicago

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) has awarded department members Alexander Schied and Ruodu Wang, along with co-author Paul Embrechts (ETH Zurich) the Best Paper Award on Financial Engineering in the journal "Operations Research".

The paper aims to understand the consequences of risk optimization in finance when the model being used is uncertain or wrong. The conclusion is that some classic methods of risk assessment, called risk measures in the scientific field, are problematic, and some new methods in financial regulation are much better.

For this purpose, the authors study issues of robustness in the context of Quantitative Risk Management and Optimization. They develop a general methodology for determining whether a given risk-measurement-related optimization problem is robust, called “robustness against optimization.” The new notion is studied for various classes of risk measures and expected utility and loss functions. Motivated by practical issues from financial regulation, special attention is given to the two most widely used risk measures in the industry, Value-at-Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES). The authors establish that for a class of general optimization problems, VaR leads to nonrobust optimizers, whereas convex risk measures generally lead to robust ones. The results offer extra insight on the ongoing discussion about the comparative advantages of VaR and ES in banking and insurance regulation. The new notion of robustness is conceptually different from the field of robust optimization, to which some interesting links are derived.

Congratulations, Mary Hardy, on receiving the Society of Actuaries (SOA) 2023

Mary's profound impact on the actuarial profession is immeasurable. Her extensive involvement within the SOA has left an indelible mark. With a remarkable history of service in various capacities, Mary's contributions have been nothing short of revolutionary.

Learn more on the Society of Actuaries website.

Congratulations to Mario Ghossoub and Gautam Kamath, this year’s recipients of the Golden Jubilee Research Excellence Award.

Mario Ghossoub is an associate professor of Statistics and Actuarial Science, as well as a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. His research concerns the optimal design of risk-sharing arrangements, including both insurance markets (between policyholders and insurance companies) and decentralized risk-sharing markets (directly between economic agents without a centralized insurance provider).

Read the full story on the Faculty of Math's website.

Events

The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science is delighted to announce that it is hosting a conference to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Jerry Lawless and Mary Thompson to the fields of life history analysis and survey sampling methodology. An exciting program of speakers has been lined up for what promising to be a stimulating and enjoyable two days of talks by leading researchers including collaborators, friends and former students of Mary and Jerry.

A banquet will be held on the evening of the 28th. 

Organizing Committee

Richard Cook (Chair)

Joel Dubin

Pengfei Li

Peijun Sang

Changbao Wu

Yeying Zhu


Email sasevent@uwaterloo.ca for any general event inquiries.

Friday, May 31, 2024 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Master of Actuarial Science (MActSc) 15th Anniversary Event

The Master of Actuarial Science (MActSc) program is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Join us at Federation Hall on Friday, May 31st, for a cocktail reception and dinner. Everyone is welcome!
 

Early bird tickets: $55 per person (rate available until April 19th)
Regular ticket: $65 per person

Thursday, June 13, 2024 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture by Bhramar Mukherjee

Distinguished Lecture Series

Bhramar Mukherjee
John D Kalbfleisch Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics
Siobán D. Harlow Collegiate Professor of Public Health
Chair of the Department of Biostatistics
University of Michigan

Room: DC 1302


The Data Struggle of the Unseen

Despite several proposed roadmaps to increase diversity in scientific research, most of the world's research data are collected on people of European ancestry. We rely on summary statistics from historically privileged populations and then devise clever statistical methods to transfer/transport them for cross-ancestry use. In this talk, I would first argue the obvious: for building fair algorithms we need fair training datasets. However, till we have reached the dream of equitable big data at a global scale, statisticians have an important role to play. In fact we have the perfect tools to study the "unobserved" through modeling of missing data, selection bias and alike.  I will share examples from my personal journey as a statistician where doing good and timely statistical work with imperfect data quantified important disparity in health outcomes and  led to policy impact. I will conclude the talk with a call to arms for statisticians to lead efforts for creating, curating, collecting data and pioneering new scientific studies, not just remain on the design and analytic fringes. As public health statisticians, our job is not just to predict, but to prevent. The talk is based on years of work with my students and colleagues at the Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan and inspired by the transformative experience we shared as a statistical team working on the COVID-19 pandemic.