2015: Center of Actuarial Excellence Status Renewed
This designation has afforded us the opportunity to earn valuable education and research grants to expand our educational activities. It was a CAE education grant that launched our TEL Initiative, an online platform designed to help students worldwide prepare for actuarial exams. The Initiative has been successful in providing education outreach resources. Since November 2013, this website has reached over 32,000 unique users in 137 countries. The grant benefitted our students directly with their involvement in the development of materials. In addition, in July 2015, we were awarded a second CAE grant, this time for research entitled Insurance Analytics: From Data Analysis to Decision Making.
2015: Hickman-Larson Chair Endowment Fulfilled
This endowment fund was created to recognize the defining contributions and leadership of James (Jim) C. Hickman and Robert (Bob) E. Larson, pioneers in the actuarial science field and the academic environment at the Wisconsin School of Business. Their efforts laid the strong foundation that maintains our reputation as one of the leading actuarial programs in the world. Although we are not actively campaigning, donations to sustain the fund can be made through www.supportuw.org.
James (Jim) C. Hickman
Professor Hickman’s scholarship and leadership propelled the University of Wisconsin Actuarial Science program to national prominence. Jim began his illustrious career with the WSB as a visiting professor in 1970-71 and was persuaded in 1972 to become a permanent faculty member. He is fondly remembered for his thought provoking and lively lectures that included references to music, philosophers, physicists, and political figures as well as musical interludes ranging from Bach symphonies to the fight songs of rival Big Ten universities. Recognized globally as a leader in the actuarial field, Jim twice received the Society of Actuaries Halmstad Prize for actuarial research and also co-authored Actuarial Mathematics that is considered the “bible” of actuarial science. Professor Hickman served as WSB Dean from 1985-1990 mentoring hundreds of students and faculty as well as actively living the vision of the WSB. Jim “retired” in 1993 and passed away in 2006 at the age of 79.
Robert (Bob) E. Larson
Professor Larson was hired in 1948 by then Associate Dean Erwin Gaumitz to establish the appropriate courses to create a Master in Actuarial Science. This approved graduate concentration was governed by an interdisciplinary committee drawn from the WSB, the Mathematics Department, and the Economics Department. Professor Larson served as the first Chairman of this committee and established the first formally recognized actuarial courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison -teaching here until 1954. From 1957-1966, Professor Larson was at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and became their first Actuarial Science Program Chair and then went on to work in industry. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 88.
Edward (Jed) Frees
Professor Frees was awarded the Hickman-Larson Endowed Chair in May 2015 and is deeply honored to carry this title. Jed earned his Master’s in Actuarial Science while studying under Professor Hickman at UW-Madison. Professor Frees is not only a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, but also a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Only one-third of one percent of the American Statistical Association's membership is elected as new Fellows each year. Jed publishes in both actuarial and mainstream statistics journals and continues to be a productive and innovative scholar. There are about twenty-two thousand members of the Society of Actuaries and twenty-five thousand members of the American Statistical Association – Professor Frees is the only person who is a fellow of both organizations.
2009: Designated a Center of Actuarial Excellence
We recognize and appreciate the value of being a CAE school for recruiting high-quality high school students to UW-Madison, employers wanting to hire our students, as well as support of our program in learning outcomes and new research.