Academic Year 2019-2020
(September 2019– August 2020)
During the academic year 2019-2020, ISBA counted 10 full-time and 4 part-time faculty members, as well as about 30 researchers and administrative officers. Research programs conducted by ISBA members lead to publications in top actuarial and statistical journals, as well as in related fields (mathematical economics, operations research, life sciences or mathematical finance, for instance). More precisely, ISBA members published 36 papers in international refereed journals and 3 book chapters. Moreover, a second part of the trilogy “Effective Statistical Learning Methods for Actuaries” has been published with Springer. Research to appear soon, or under evaluation, wasreported in 34 discussion papers (ref. DP2019/20-DP2020/25).
ISBA members are involved in editorial boards of reference journals in their respective fields, including
• Annals of Statistics, Annual Review of Statistics and its Application, Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, Electronic Journal of Statistics, Extremes, and Statistical Modelling in probability and statistics;
• Biometrics, Biometrika and Biostatistics in biostatistics;
• Econometrics and Statistics, Journal of Risk and Financial Management, Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics, Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, and Digital Finance in finance and econometrics;
• as well as ASTIN Bulletin, European Actuarial Journal and Insurance: Mathematics and Economics in risk and insurance.
They also regularly act as reviewers for international, peer-reviewed journals or as members of scientific committees for international conferences. This is a clear mark that their expertise is recognized worldwide.
Besides fundamental research, ISBA members are also very active in addressing societal issues such as sustainability of pension systems and insurability of long-term cancer survivors. ISBA members are also involved into different types of services to the society, as members of boards of public, non-profit organizations (scientific committee of the Fondation Contre le Cancer, Commission des Assurances or Conseil Académique des Pensions, for instance). Several members have also contributed to the public information about the actual Covid crisis through different media.
Training junior researchers is a key activity for ISBA senior academic members. In 2019-2020, ISBA has hosted 24 PhD students and 4 post-doc researchers. Manon Martin and Florian Pechon successfully defended their PhD theses and were awarded the degree of Doctor in Science, specializing in Statistics and in Actuarial Science, respectively. Due to the pandemic and associated travel restrictions in 2020, ISBA only welcomed 19 foreign visitors during the academic year 2019-2020. Research activities were carried in a hybrid mode, combining on-site and remote activities during the lockdown period. There have been 8 regular ISBA research seminars, in the statistics series or in the actuarial series in 2019-2020. Three scientific events were also organized: 2 Pension’s Mornings in the framework of the UCLouvain Excellence Chair in Pensions and a 1-day workshop devoted to the design of experiments. Also, there have been 13 Applied Statistics workshops focusing on problem-driven statistics organized at ISBA and 3 short courses devoted to longevity, pension and long-term care, to individual loss reserving methods in property-casualty insurance, and on data stream and monitoring. Scientific activities developed by ISBA members continue to be supported by various programs funded by the Belgian French-speaking Community (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) including the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), the Walloon Region of Belgium (Région wallonne), the Belgian Federal Government (Belgian Science Policy) and the European Union (H2020 and ERC). In addition to the ongoing ARC projects “Sustainable, adequate and safe pensions” and “Negative and ultra-low interest rates: behavioral and quantitative modelling”, ISBA members were selected for a new ARC project entitled “Imperfect Data: From Mathematical Foundations to Applications in Life Sciences” running over 2020-2025.
Besides public support, ISBA also benefited from fruitful collaboration with private partners mainly from the pharmaceutical and insurance sectors (e.g., SAS, CluePoints, GSK, Generali, AG Insurance, Axa Research Fund). A new research chair “Fully funded Pension Systems” has been awarded by the Belgian insurance company Ethias.
The excellence of the research programs conducted at ISBA is recognized internationally. ISBA again ranks 3 over the last 2015-19 period and remained in the top 10 since 2000 in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) ranking listing the top 50 universities worldwide based on the number of papers published in leading actuarial journals. ISBA is also among the 20
centers from around the world designated by the International Insurance Society as Global Centers of Insurance Excellence (GCIE). This certification recognizes outstanding risk management and insurance programs that play an integral role in promoting insurance knowledge and research.
Catherine Legrand, ISBA Chairwoman
Michel Denuit, ISBA Research Director
The detailed key figures can be found here : REPORT_isba_Key Facts Figures_2019_2020.