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Cindy Fox Aisen
School of Science at IUPUI

Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010

In high risk time, IUPUI trains future professionals to manage risk

Former President of Mathematical Association of America to Head IUPUI Actuarial Sciences

September 30, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- Responding to the growing national and regional demand for actuaries, the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is expanding its actuarial sciences program. Training for an actuarial career, which uses mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk, typically results in employment in the insurance or financial industries, or with a consulting firm or governmental agency.

IUPUI Science

Carl C. Cowen, professor of mathematics at the School of Science at IUPUI, has been named director of the program. Cowen is a former dean of the School of Science and a former president of the Mathematical Association of America.

Actuaries are trained to manage risk and evaluate its financial impact, and they play an important role in companies issuing extended care or life insurance policies. Actuaries contribute to decisions about which products to create and sell and to setting premium levels and to government agencies like the Social Security Administration, which need to figure out how the next generation will pay for this generation's benefits. They assist large financial institutions in making U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, organizations concerned about natural disaster damage potential, and any company that self-insures.

"The actuarial profession is a business career that combines the tools of finance with the discipline of math and statistics. Actuaries solve important questions related to managing risk because they understand the variables involved. IUPUI students concentrating in actuarial sciences take finance courses in the Kelley School of Business as well as statistics and other pre-professional courses in the math department in the School of Science," said Cowen.

"As the IUPUI actuarial sciences program grows, we hope to bring 20 to 30 companies from across the country to campus to recruit. Being in Indianapolis we start with an advantage because several large insurance companies -- major employers of actuaries -- are located here. We plan to begin building upon the strengths of our program by working with these companies to offer internships and other opportunities to our students," added Cowen.

In 2010 the annual survey of the top 200 jobs rated actuary as the number one (up from number two in 2009) profession based on five criteria: work environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.

For additional information on the IUPUI program in actuarial sciences go to

About the School of Science at IUPUI

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy. For more information visit