Mathematics 283, Fall 2005

Illinois State University Mathematics Department

Mr. Chris Clark, FSA, EA, MAAA
Actuary (Pension & ALM)
State Farm Insurance Companies
One State Farm Plaza, B-1
Bloomington, IL 61710
Telephone: 309-766-8979, Fax: 309-766-1862
E-mail: (work), (home)
Dr. Krzysztof Ostaszewski, FSA, CFA, MAAA
Actuarial Program Director
Office: Stevenson Hall, room 313G.
Telephone: 309-438-7226, Fax: 309-438-5866

Classes Meet
Tuesdays 6:00-6:50, in Stevenson Hall, room 125. The class website is
will use the website directly for a portion of the coursework.

Office Hours
Please call or e-mail for an appointment.

There will not be a textbook for this class as it will be largely lab and internet driven. The instructor will periodically hand out or e-mail study notes.

The primary objective of this class is to help you learn about how Excel and Access are actually used in actuarial practice.

This course will consist primarily of project oriented work with work during each class (not graded), homework each work (graded), a comprehensive project given as the final homework assignment (graded), and a final to be completed during the last class (you guessed it, also graded). If you so choose, your worst homework grade can be dropped with the value of said assignment being added to the comprehensive project. The homework assignments will be worth ten points a piece, except for the Excel review homework which will be worth twenty points. The comprehensive project will be worth fifty points and the final will be worth thirty points. The grading scale will be as follows: 90% or better -- A, 80% to 90% -- B, 70% to 80% -- C, 60% to 70% -- D, below 60% -- F. All work will be modeled on real-world actuarial practice.

Schedule of classes

Tuesday, August 23, 2005. Introduction to course and overview of what will be covered. General guidelines for good spreadsheet design.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005. Useful Excel functions and general Excel work.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005. More useful Excel functions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005. Nested function work.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005. Data analysis in Excel.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005. More data analysis; intro. to user-defined functions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005. Excel macros and more user-defined functions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005. Excel review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005. Intro. to Access and basic data work therein.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005. Simple queries in Access.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005. Access macros: basic design and uses and more Access queries.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005. No class: Professional exams this week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005. Cross-application work and discuss comprehensive project.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005. Comprehensive project due; review for final.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005. Final.