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I am a card carrying member of AARP, divorced and with a wonderful girlfriend, father of three sons, and a grandpa. I have a bachelor's in math from Queens College, a master's in math from the University of Virginia, a master's in educational technology from New Jersey City University, and a master's in data analysis from Southern New Hampshire University. I hung up my slide rule after 42 years and retired as a casualty actuary. Actuary means a mathematician specializing in insurance. Casualty means property and liability (hurricanes and malpractice lawsuits) insurance, rather than life insurance or employee benefits.

I have taken a number of insurance-related exams since I have been working. My professional designations that I have earned by passing exams include FCAS, CPCU, ARM, ARe, AIM, and FCIA. I have taken online courses and exams in Finance, Regression, Time Series, Race and Ethnic Groups, Copyright, and Data Science, which helped me become a fan of online education, including Southern New Hampshire University, where I teach math online. I wrote a study guide for the Praxis Core Math exam. I have also become a notary public.

I am also pleased to announce that my 2001 actuarial short story Proof placed second in the 2001 SOA Fiction Contest. I think my 2003 actuarial short story 1 + 1 = 0 is better, but it did not place in the money. I think some insurers use some ideas from my 2005 work, Rating Variables. My 2007 story Actuarial Testing, asks whether actuarial students are using illegal substances. I get to use one of my favorite Actuarial Palindromes in my 2009 story. A fictional actuary tries to game the stock market in a story called Risk Management.

I grew up in New York City. I played softball and chess in my youth. I played some softball in an over 60 league, but I don't have any more hits left in me. While in college I "did" the NYC subway system with some friends - traveling to every station on a single fare - it took 26 hours, 40 minutes. I also took Trailways buses across the country one summer - that took about a month. inline image error

Then when I got to California, I played a little - Roller Derby! If I had been either a little faster or a little bigger in those days, my career might have turned out much differently.

My oldest son received a a doctorate in sociology at Loyola University and is now a post-doctorate fellow. My middle son got his MBA at Duke and is now a strategy director, whatever that is. My youngest and tallest son is about to get a master's in history from Rutgers and teaches high school history. All three have had part-time jobs selling ice cream. You want sprinkles with that? I am also quite proud to have a niece who is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a nephew who graduated from NYU, and another nephew employed in the security business. Dilbert has become my favorite comic strip. I have an eclectic collection of fifties and sixties oldies CDs in the car, and I have been known to sing some of them to my kids (sometimes as a punishment). For those who know me, believe it or not I came out of the musical closet and made a fool of myself singing a song in an amateur performance a few years ago. I am available for the right venue.

I think there is a good trend in what is happening in mathematics education. I am in favor of rethinking how we teach mathematics to make it more equitable for all students, and of rethinking math problems that rely on stereotypical assumptions. I published an article in the September, 1990 issue of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Mathematics Teacher magazine, I published an article on why your auto insurance premium goes up after an accident, and I occasionally blog on R-bloggers. I have spoken at a few math teacher meetings. I am currently interested in mathematical computer simulation and in interesting applications of data science, and I'd be happy to talk about it.

You never know where I will turn up. Amazingly, I have been quoted in two unusual places. One is page 271 of Courage to Love (by Will Leckie and Barry Stopfel, Doubleday, 1997), and the other is page 46 of Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella (by William Safire, Crown Publishers, 2001). Curious why of all people they quoted me? Take a look!

I once thought I was the only person who did an occasional mileage run, but there are many of us. My longest was round-trip Newark to Anchorage, with a few stops in between, within 26 hours. Years ago I did EWR-LAX-CLE-ORD-EWR in under 24 hours.

How about volunteering?

Since you have access to the Web to be reading this page, life must be treating you pretty well. How about giving something back? Over the years my volunteer activities have included recording math textbooks on tape for blind students, driving a van for the Interfaith Hospitality Network which provides temporary shelter for homeless people in churches and synagogues, coaching T-ball and C-ball little league, and serving on the board of a religious organization. I was a long-time volunteer webmaster for an organization that reads current newspapers and magazines aloud for low vision people. I was the actuarial liaison for the University of Texas at Dallas. I now speak to students at Florida Gulf Coast University. For several years I read a book to first and second graders once a week. So pick something, and volunteer. Thanks.

September 11

I was at work, a block away, on September 11. My company evacuated our building at the first attack, and I observed all too much firsthand on the street. My company's employees all survived physically. But I grieve for business associates, for people I knew, and for people whose names I never knew. I used to buy coffee from a guy in a cart across the street from the Trade Center. He never returned to that corner. For many years after September 11, I worked a few blocks from the World Trade Center, and I watched its rebirth every day.

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Miscellaneous Nonsense


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