Syllabus for Math 441 (Topics in^{ }Actuarial
Models)
Spring 2023 Semester at Lycoming College
Course Content
Topics
are selected from those covered on the examinations administered by the Society
of Actuaries, with the exception of the topics already covered in MATH 325,
332, 333. The major goal of this course
is to provide the student with an overview of some advanced statistical
techniques and some applications in a variety of fields, such as business,
psychology, sociology, science, etc. This course can count as a capstone course
for the actuarial science major or for the mathematics major. Prerequisite:
MATH 325 and MATH 332.
Course Goals
Goals
for this course include developing critical thinking skills, and the abilities
to apply the techniques of calculus (i.e., derivatives, integration, infinite
series), probability theory, interest theory, and the available computer
software (e.g., spreadsheets) in applications involving various types of insurance,
annuities, and other such financial scenarios.
Who Should be Taking This Course
This
course is designed to cover topics on the examinations administered by the
Society of Actuaries. This course can be
used as a capstone requirement for the actuarial mathematics major or for the
mathematics major.
Disability Support Services
In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(and its amendments) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Lycoming
College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with
documented disabilities that impact their learning experiences. The Office of
Academic Services Deans coordinates disability support services (DSS), and
students can contact (570) 3214358 or academicservices@lycoming.edu to set up a confidential conversation about the
disclosure and accommodation process. The Office of Academic Services Deans
is located in the second floor of the Krapf Gateway
Center. Further information regarding DSS is available at: https://www.lycoming.edu/academicresourcecenter/disabilitysupport/. 

OFFICE
HOURS Find your instructor’s office hours at http://lycofs01.lycoming.edu/~sprgene/OffHrs.htm
, and write them here for
future reference. 

Required Materials
Each
student must have
·
a threering
binder containing copy of this syllabus, the course schedule, the class notes,
completed assignments, etc. (Note: Since students will need to use this binder
every day in class and might be allowed to use this binder for some exams,
the binder should be kept up‑to‑date and complete.) Although no textbook is required, the
material in this course is taken from various textbooks on actuarial science.
·
a calculator (any
TI84 or TI83 calculator is recommended but not required) – some of the
material in class, on homework, and on exams will require heavy use of the
calculator.
Course Links
Some WellKnown Sums and
Series
Grading
Item 
Point
Values and Policies 
Homework 
Homework
assignments due on the next class are posted in red
on the course schedule. Late
homework is generally not accepted. Homework counts for 20% of the final
grade; however, a student who misses submitting more than 10 homework
assignments automatically fails the course. 
Semester Tests 
Several
semester exams are given; specific dates are available from the course schedule. For each
missed test, a grade of zero is recorded, unless (1) the instructor is
presented with documented evidence of a medical reason for not completing the
test at the scheduled time, and (2) arrangements to make up the test are
made within 24 hours of the originally scheduled exam time. Semester
exams count for 40% of the final grade. 
Capstone Project 
During
the semester, each student is required to research a topic and give a poster
presentation; see the Poster
Presentation section following this section. This counts
for 20% of the final grade. 
Final Exam 
The
final exam (administered during final exam week) counts for 20% of the final grade. 
Attendance 
The
final course grade percentage is reduced by 4% for each unexcused absence
after the third unexcused absence; an absence is considered to be excused
when the instructor accepts an email from the student explaining the reason
for the absence. It is the student’s
responsibility to find out what was missed in class and keep up with the
coursework. A student with more than 8 unexcused absences automatically fails the
course. 
The
final course letter grade is determined from the course average as follows: A = above 93.33% A– = 90% to
93.33% B+ = 86.67% to
90% B = 83.33% to 86.67% B– = 80% to 83.33% C+ = 76.67% to 80% C = 73.33% to 76.67% C– = 70% to 73.33% D+ = 66.67% to 70% D = 63.33% to 66.67% D– = 60% to 63.33% F = below 60% 
Poster Presentation
Each student is required to give a poster
presentation during a poster session held in Pennington Lounge on April 18th
from 34pm (subject to possible change).
Each student is responsible for picking a topic, researching that topic,
creating a poster of the findings, and presenting the findings to those that
attend the poster session. Two important
points to note here are that (1) the student must be prepared to discuss
the poster not only with math department faculty and math majors, but also with
nonmath faculty and nonmath majors, and (2) students enrolled in MATH 441
need to be simultaneously enrolled in MATH 449 (Colloquium), which is scheduled
for Tuesday 3:004:00.
Early in the semester, each student will
focus on choosing a topic, after which there will be several oneonone
checkin sessions with the instructor.
During the checkin sessions, we will discuss the progress made on the
research topic since the last checkin, as well as the work to be done in
preparation for the next checkin.
Prior to the poster session on April 18th,
there will be two poster presentation dry run sessions to help prepare for the
actual poster session. Part of the
poster presentation grade takes into account the
effort put forth in dry runs. The
research should be completed and the poster mostly done prior to the first dry
run session on April 4th. Completed
PowerPoint Poster files are due by email on April 10th and will be used for the
second dry run session on April 11th.
The overall grade for the poster presentation will be based on
how well the student prepared for each
checkin session,
the research the student did on the
topic,
the poster itself (contents, design,
layout, etc.), and
how well the findings and poster were
presented to both a math and nonmath audience.
MATH Assessment Exam
As
part of the Mathematics Department’s capstone requirements, math majors
enrolled in a MATH capstone course are required to take the MATH Assessment
Exam if they haven’t done so already. The assessment exam will be given towards
the end of the semester and it will contain questions from the eight required
courses of the mathematics major (MATH 128, CPTR 125, …).
Tips for Success in This Course
(1)
Keep up with the homework  understanding every homework assignment as
completely as you can is the key to grasping the course material. Even though there will be some homework
assignments that you may not be required to submit, do them anyway, since they
will help you master the material.
(2)
Keep your binder uptodate and wellorganized, since you might be allowed to
use the binder for exams.
General Standards and Policies
All work submitted must be of
professional quality. All paper must be
neat, without ragged edges, rips, tears, smudges, stains, etc. All answers must be clear, complete, and concise;
handwriting must be legible. If the instructor
can't read it, it's wrong. Assignments
may be downgraded if these standards are not met.
It can be very helpful for some
students to work together on daily assignments and to study together; this is
encouraged when it does not result in one student simply copying another's work
with no understanding. Acts of academic
dishonesty will result in a grade of F for the course, and a letter to the
Provost describing the circumstances. If
you are having problems in the course, talk to the instructor; don't involve
yourself in academic dishonesty. With each assignment submitted, students are
expected to write a short note at the end of the assignment indicating from
whom help was received and to whom help was given (but this does not affect the
grade for the assignment). The following
is from the FACULTY HANDBOOK in the section titled Student Course Load:
"It
is expected that students will spend, in preparation for courses, two hours of
study time outside the classroom for every hour of credit in the
classroom."
This
means that you should be prepared to spend, on average, eight hours per week
outside of class working on a fourcredit course; however, this will vary from
student to student and from course to course.
Your time will be spent reading the text, reviewing class notes, and
completing homework exercises.