Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Frist Psot!

Hello! I'm an student at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, in the second year of a four year undergraduate degree in Actuarial Science (the teaching pages for current students, probably more interesting than the front-end fluff, is here). I intend to blog about anything of relevance to my studies and intended career - who knows, someone may even find it useful.

The somewhat cryptic title of this blog is a reference to Edmond Halley's 1693 paper, published by the Royal Society, briefly titled "An Estimate of the Degrees of the Mortality of Mankind, Drawn from Curious Tables of the Births and Funerals at the City of Breslaw; With an Attempt to Ascertain the Price of Annuities upon Lives". This short paper was one of the first to tease a structured approach to pricing life insurance and annuities from a set of data describing life expectancy for a large population. The paper can be read online and Halley's insight and ability to recognise his assumptions are well worth the battle with seventeenth century English.

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