Statement of
Purpose

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Since childhood, I have demonstrated talents
for mathematics and thus studied Olympic mathematics for 12 years. After high
school, I chose mathematics as my major and learned actuarial science by my
self. To fulfill my dream of becoming an actuary, I hope to extend my
mathematics and actuarial science study to a graduate level.

 

Since calculus based mathematics is required to
actuarial science, I planned to concentrate on my course work in my freshman
year. My hard work was rewarded by the First Class Outstanding Student
Scholarship, which was awarded to top 5% students and I ranked 3rd
out of 134. In the following summer vocation, I was confident of my
mathematical foundation and decided to study the Theory of Interest by self study.

 

I really enjoy the process of learning this
subject. The book was filled up with formulas and mathematical symbols and this
writing style just suited my taste. I worked hard to deduct every formula, such
as the Tailor Expression of which was not deducted
in the book. Financial analysis also fascinated me a great deal. For instance,
at first I couldn’t understand the advantage of using duration as an index to measure the timing of future payments. Then
I reviewed the book again and again to understand the time value of money more
thoroughly. A thought suddenly dawned on my mind that duration was superior to others because it was the only index that
successfully combined time, payments and interest rate as a whole. This
experience told me that the purpose of using mathematics in the book was mainly
to express the theory in a strict way, and it was much more important to
understand the economic meaning of each definition and theorem behind those
fancy mathematical formulas. Also, since the book mainly focused on determined
models which could not explain the stochastic nature of actual economic
phenomenon, I have a strong desire to learn advanced subjects in this field.
During my sophomore year, I passed the first two actuarial exams by 10 and 8
respectively

 

In the first semester junior year, I strengthened
my pure mathematics in preparation for future study. Also, I scored 800 and
ranked 88% in the GRE Mathematics Subject Test. In order to develop my
applied-math ability, I registered the course “Mathematical Modeling” in the
following semester.

 

It is a great pleasure for me to use
mathematical models to solve practical problems. In that class I organized a
team of 3 students to complete a report called “Optimal Strategy for Selecting
Courses”. In order to build the initial model, I used Linear Regression to
analyze the data and referenced my textbooks. After that, one of us wrote a
program to put the model into practice, while another drafted the report.
However, our program came across lots of difficulties. For example, it did not
work for two senior students who successfully got PHD offers. Our model
indicated that they should have selected many advanced courses to strengthen
themselves, but actually they didn’t. At first we assumed that they wanted to
focus on few courses to raise their GPAs. It could explain the result but there
were no other similar examples to examine our assumptions. Then I sent an
e-mail to one of them for help. She told me that they spent so much time on GRE
and TOEFL that they could not spare any time for electives. Thus, we realized
our error and added GRE and TOEFL as “courses” to our model. Finally, the
program worked out correctly. This experience told me that truly mathematical
modeling is based on facts rather than textbooks or assumptions without
foundation. When I found out the result provided by our program could reflect
the fact to some extent, I really admired the power of mathematical modeling.
Also, I was really grateful to my team members for their high-quality work.

 

The Actuarial Science Program in University of Xxx
is one of the oldest similar programs in the US. As my undergraduate major is
mathematics, it’s easier for me to study in a science department than in a
business school. As I know, University of Xxx has many outstanding actuarial
science researchers, such as Professor xxx, who has won many SOA prizes. Also, the courses in University of Xxx
might be the most challenging and broadest among all the similar programs. For
example, I heard that Mr. Shiu only taught the hardest 5 chapters of textbook in
the course “Mathematics of Finance 2”, which could help me master the subject
thoroughly rather than just passing actuarial exams. In addition, stochastic
analysis, the typical course of financial engineering, was also taught by Mr. xxx
there. Moreover, a great mass of statistics courses are available as well.
At last, the location and
surrounding of University of Xxx are very suitable to study.

 

I am taking SAS Language Programming, Non-parametric
Statistics and Measure Theory this semester to strengthen my statistics
background. However, all of these are basic courses and I am curious about
advanced actuarial analytical techniques and eager to learn them systematically.
As a result, I genuinely wish to be admitted to your program.

x

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I'm Erica!

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