Actuarial Science Students Shine at Annual Employability Awards

Two students from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science collected awards at University of Kent’s annual Employability Points Rewards ceremony on Tuesday 6 June.

Final year Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry, Joey Chong, was awarded the prize for the ‘Highest Scoring Student from the Canterbury Campus’ for the second consecutive year after accumulating over 2,800 Employability Points. Joey commented, “I am honoured and happy to have won the award for the second consecutive year. The EP Scheme has played a significant role throughout my undergraduate studies, providing me with opportunities to further enhance my skills and gain valuable work experiences. It truly is a great scheme as it recognises and rewards the work students do.”

Fellow final year Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry student, Hannah Marshall, was named ‘Highest Scoring Student Studying a Finance Related Degree’ for a second time after the winning the award in 2015. Speaking after the event Hannah said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have received this Employability Points award for the second year. Logging extra curricular activities through the scheme whilst studying for my Actuarial Science degree has helped me recognise how important it is to employers to be well rounded. I have loved getting involved in voluntary and charity week at university, and getting recognition for this was an added bonus!”

Now in its seventh year, the Employability Points (EP) Scheme rewards students for their involvement in extra-curricular activities whilst studying at Kent. Students can claim ‘Employability Points’ for each activity completed and can redeem their points for the chance to apply for rewards such as, paid internships, work experience, training, project placements, vouchers and more.

Senior Lecturer in Actuarial Science and Employability Officer for the School, Mark Heller, commented, “Congratulations to Joey and Hannah, who received awards at the university’s recent Employability Points Rewards ceremony.

The Employability Points scheme provides vital work experience and skills for Kent students, and is recognised by employers across the country. The School is committed to providing high quality employability support to students, and we’re delighted that our students have been recognised with these prestigious awards.”



Prof. Peter Clarkson celebrates 60th birthday at workshop on ‘Applied and computational complex analysis’

On 9th May 2017, Professor Peter Clarkson celebrated his 60th birthday whilst attending a workshop on “Applied and computational complex analysis” at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh.

The ICMS staff and workshop organisers arranged for a special birthday cake which was decorated to illustrate the 60 roots of two polynomials. These polynomials are known as “Generalised Okamoto polynomials”, first derived by Noumi and Yamada in 1999, and the remarkable, symmetric structure of their roots was described in a paper by Peter in 2003.

During the workshop Peter gave a public lecture on “Rogue waves, tsunamis and solitons”. Dr Alfredo Deano, Dr Ana Loureiro and Professor Elizabeth Mansfield gave lectures at the workshop.


SMSAS rises to the challenge with bake sale in support of the Kent Refuge Fund

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS) recently took part in the Development Office’s baking challenge, ‘Rise’, to raise money for the Kent Refuge Fund.

Professional Services and Academic staff pulled together to produce an array of delicious baked goods including brownies, sponges, cupcakes, rocky roads, cookies and chocolate tiffin. The tasty treats went on sale in the Sibson Atrium on Friday 26 May.

The SMSAS Bake Sale raised over £110 for the fund which supports students and academics who seek refuge in Europe and wish to continue their education and research at Kent.

Guy Thomas publishes new book | Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection

Honorary Lecturer, Guy Thomas, has published his latest book Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection with Cambridge University Press. This is based in part on Guy’s collaboration in recent years with Dr Pradip Tapadar and PhD student MingJie Hao.


The book has received cover endorsements from leading actuaries including Professor David Wilkie, who writes:

“This is a serious book which challenges some of the conventional thinking of actuaries and economists about adverse selection in insurance, and does so with justification; they would do well to take the author’s views into account.”


Guy will be giving a talk based on his book at the Actuarial Teaching and Research Conference at Kent on 17-18 July.

Professor Andrew Hone secures funding for national mathematical research project

Professor Andrew Hone has been awarded £3,000 from the Science Faculty Impact Case Development Fund to launch a national project titled ‘Crowdsourcing Pseudorandom Dynamics’.

Sixth form students from across the UK will be encouraged to take part in the project carrying out mathematical research linked to Professor Hone’s five-year Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Established Career Fellowship (2015-2020) working on ‘Cluster algebras with periodicity and discrete dynamics over finite fields’.

The project will be launched on Monday 10 July with a workshop for Kent schools, held at the Simon Langton Boys’ Grammar School.

Professor Paul Sweeting discusses the Future of the UK State Pension in new Think Kent Lecture

Professor Paul Sweeting recently took to the stage for a second time to discuss ‘The Future of the UK State Pension’ in the latest series of  Think Kent Lectures.

In the lecture, Professor Sweeting looks at the history of the UK State Pension, and how it may develop in the future. In particular, he considers the demographic pressures on State Pensions, socioeconomic differences in longevity, and the implications for an equitable pensions system.

View the lecture below.


SMSAS Celebrates Move into Sibson

The School celebrated the move into the Sibson Building last month with an event for students and staff.

The event held in the Sibson Atrium was well attended with students and staff enjoying an array of sweet treats, refreshments and freebies, including mugs to mark the move.

Head of School, Prof. Peter Hydon, opened the event with a few words, commenting on the significance of the building for the School, noting that the School is finally housed under one roof and what that means for students, staff and visitors going forward.


Integrable Systems, Symmetries and Orthogonal Polynomials Conference in Celebration of Prof. Peter Clarkson’s and Prof. Elizabeth Mansfield’s 60th Birthday

A conference is being held at the Instituto de Ciencias Matematicas, Madrid, Spain, to bring together a number of specialists to celebrate Peter’s and Liz’s 60th birthday and their impact on a wide range of mathematical areas.

The conference will run from Sunday 17th September to Friday 22nd September. There are a limited number of grants available for students and early career researchers. For more information visit


Elaheh exhibits poster at House of Commons

PhD student, Elaheh Oftadeh, was invited to exhibit a poster at a STEM for Britain event held in the House of Commons on Monday 13 March.

Elaheh’s poster titled, ‘High dimensionality and cancer’, focused on the introduction of mathematical tools to address the issue of high dimensionality, one of the most challenging aspects of data modelling and analysis.

The proposed tool scans through a predictor variable space with a series of filters that are resistant to irrelevant information and allow only the informative subset to pass through.

What is unique about the method is that it is inspired by two concepts from disparate fields. One is the ‘dimension reduction method’ from statistics and the other, ‘beamforming’, is a staple of signal processing and refers to the technique of removing unwanted interference from a signal by controlling the direction that the signal flows.

As a particular application, this method was applied to cancer data and as a result, a bio-marker network of gene expressions were identified.

Speaking on being selected to exhibit at the event, Elaheh commented, “I am delighted to be selected and have the opportunity to represent our school at this prestigious event.”

Elaheh can be seen pictured above at the event alongside MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, Julian Brazier.