I earned a BS in Math in 1990, and then went to UC Berkeley. I earned a PhD
in statistics in 1994. UC Berkeley is a very theoretical department. There
I got a very good foundation in probability and statistics. I spend all three
summers while I was in graduate school working at Sandia National Laboratories - which
was facilitated by David Womble, another Rose grad. Those summers gave me valuable
experience in an applied setting. The school years at Berkeley and the summers
at Sandia were very different and quite complementary.
After I finished my PhD, I worked on the Yucca Mountain Project, a DOE project studying
the viability of burying high level nuclear waste under Yucca Mountain, in the Nevada
Test Site. My group was responsible for the "Total System Performance Assessment". I
worked with a number of other people with diverse backgrounds, including hydrology,
geochemistry, and materials science. Together, we built a stochastic simulation
to help understand the likely impact of the proposed repository.
After I was there for 2 1/2 years, I got married. My wife was in graduate school
at Cornell, so I joined her there. I took a post-doc in the chemistry department. (I
took a 50% pay cut and went from a permanent job to a temporary one.) There,
I was working with a number of chemists on nuclear magnetic resonance - science that
is used in MRI's and was being studied to detect contraband.
While I was at Cornell, I looked around for my next career move. After interviewing
a number of places, including Batelle and the Census Bureau, I accepted a position
at Allstate Insurance. I spend 7 1/2 years there. Most of my time was in
the research area, studying lifetime value, retention, elasticity, and economic simulations. I
also spent two years in the finance department working on enterprise risk management. There,
I worked on capital adequacy, capital allocation, investment allocation, reinsurance
strategies, and return on equity. About one year ago, I left Allstate for Zurich
- a commercial insurance company. Here, I am working on predictive modeling,
to help us understand what traits predict future loss experience.
I've been fortunate to work in a number of areas in both science and business. In
all of these, I've worked with a number of people with different backgrounds. With
time, I've learned a little about a lot of fields. In each case, my knowledge
of mathematics and statistics has helped me contribute.
I've received a number of complements on my quantitative skills which are consistently
my biggest strength.
It's ironic. When I was at Rose, Dr. Kinney suggested that I could easily be
an actuary if I wanted. At the time, I wrote it off, thinking that I wanted to
do cutting edge research at a national laboratory. For a number of years, I worked
toward that end. After a wide detour, I am an actuary. Having gone the
circuitous route has given me a lot of interesting experiences.