Introduction

The project goal is to develop interactive, online, freely available, texts. Our initial efforts are geared to a specific topic in actuarial science, Loss Data Analytics. Below, you will also find references to a second effort on another topic, Life Contingencies, also known as actuarial mathematics.

What will success look like?
The online texts will be freely available to a worldwide audience. Online version will contain many interactive objects (quizzes, computer demonstrations, interactive graphs, video, and the like) to promote deeper learning. Moreover, a subset of the book will be available in pdf format for low-cost printing. Online texts will be available in multiple languages to promote access to a worldwide audience. If you wish to see a concrete example, visit the site by Jed Frees that demonstrates a regression book implementation.

How will the texts be used?
These books will be useful in actuarial curricula worldwide. The first book will cover the loss data learning objectives of the major actuarial organizations. Thus, it will be suitable for classroom use at universities as well as for use by independent learners seeking to pass professional actuarial examinations. Moreover, the text will also be useful for the continuing professional development of actuaries and other professionals in insurance and related financial risk management industries.

Why is this good for the profession?
An online text is a type of open educational resource (OER). One important benefit of an OER is that it equalizes access to knowledge, thus permitting a broader community to learn about the actuarial profession. Moreover, it has the capacity to engage viewers through active learning that deepens the learning process, producing analysts more capable of solid actuarial work.

Why is this good for students and teachers and others involved in the learning process?
Cost is often cited as an important factor for students and teachers in textbook selection (see a recent post on the $400 textbook). Students will also appreciate the ability to "carry the book around" on their mobile devices. Faculty will appreciate the new analytics flavor with the ready transitions built in that will allow learners to transit from 19th century probability formulas to modern day analytic applications.

Why loss data analytics?
Although the hope is that this type of resource will eventually permeate throughout the actuarial curriculum, one has to start somewhere. Given the dramatic changes in the way that actuaries treat data, loss data seems like a natural place to start. The idea behind the name loss data analytics is to integrate classical loss data models from applied probability with modern analytic tools. In particular, we seek to recognize that big data (including social media and usage based insurance) are here and high speed computation is readily available.

Book is open and Available
  • The "publication" or "production" version of the project is available at openActTexts.github.io. This site provides a stable version of the book and supporting R codes. It is designed for students and teachers of Loss Data Analytics.
  • The "development" version of the project is available at ewfrees.github.io. It also provides a version of the book and supporting R codes but is updated more frequently. It is designed for contributing authors, reviewers, and others involved in the development process. It also contains overheads, a style guide, and other features that support the project as it develops.