I visited London this month for the first time in many years, having been honored to participate in the fourth annual R in Insurance conference held at the Cass Business School. Mired in the deep rooted polarity of the current American presidential election, this traveler was refreshed and uplifted by London’s surprising and multi-faceted diversity. The conference program organized by Markus Gesmann and Andreas Tsanakas was similarly multi-faceted and equally enjoyable. See highlights in Markus’ Notes from the Conference and this amateur’s images below.
In addition to the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
Of course, I knew of Dr. Mario Wüthrich, the opening keynote speaker, by professional reputation, but had never had the pleasure until the morning of July 11. I will not forget Mario’s sense of humor and easy way.
I enjoyed an enthusiastic machine-learning breakfast discussion with Alex Marcuson (Marcuson Consulting), Alan Chalk (see Alan’s Casualty Actuarial Society machine learning paper here), Harpeet Kang (ProSight Specialty Insurance), and Markus.
I am especially indebted to the generous hospitality of Kendra Felisky and her family in Kent. I experienced how a rugby club celebrates on Friday evenings and how to lose at ping pong in an English garden. I heard how ex-pats in Portugal perceive their post-Brexit future and watched bright young adults prepare for theirs. I learned a few cricket rules, walked a bit of local history, and downed a few pints. Many other wonderful memories are better held close!
It was a special time to visit the UK — Brexit, Wimbledon, a new prime minister, R in Insurance, miraculous weather, and, mostly, friends.
|Dr. Wüthrich opens the conference|
|Marcela Granados discusses reserving under high inflation|
|Jinsong Jheng presents an R package for life insurance SCR modeling|
|Nicholas Baradel demonstrates how RPGM can help users build reserving models without extensive knowledge of R|
|Mark Sellors presents a real-world R-as-a-service use case for a health insurer|
|Moi (credit M. Gesmann)|
|The Lloyd’s Building|
|John Harrison’s H4 prize winning clock at the Royal Observatory (recommend Longitude by Dava Sobel)|
|Andy Murray makes thousands of Brit’s happy as they enjoy the big screen and sunshine at the foot of Tower Bridge|
|The resting place of Thomas Bayes, a few blocks from City University London|