Key Facts and Figures

ISBA Facts and Key Figures
Academic Year 2020-2021

During the academic year 2020-2021, ISBA counted

• 10 full-time and 4 part-time faculty members,

• 31 junior researchers (mainly PhD students and post-doc researchers)

• and 4 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

• 53 papers in international refereed journals

• and 2 book chapters.

Moreover, two books authored by ISBA members have been published:

• “Advanced Survival Models” with Chapman and Hall/CRC Press (360 pages)

• and the last part of the trilogy “Effective Statistical Learning Methods for Actuaries” with Springer (228 pages).

Research to appear soon, or under evaluation, was reported in 36 discussion papers (LIDAM Discussion Papers ref. ISBA DP2020/26-DP2021/28).

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, Digital Finance, Econometrics and Statistics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Journal of Risk and Financial Management, and Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics 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, Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten, for instance). Several members have also contributed to the public information about Covid crisis through different media. Training junior reserchers is a key activity for ISBA senior academic members. In 2020-2021, ISBA has hosted 28 PhD students and 3 post-doc researchers. Kassu Mehari Beyene, Oswaldo Gressani, Pauline Ngugnie Diffouo, Fadoua Zeddouk, Nathalie Lucas, and Gilles Mordant successfully defended their PhD theses and were awarded the degree of Doctor in Science, specializing in Statistics or in Actuarial Science.

Due to the pandemic and associated travel restrictions in 2020-2021, ISBA only welcomed 2 foreign visitors during the academic year. Research activities were carried in a hybrid mode, combining on-site and remote activities during the lockdown period. There have been 10 regular ISBA research seminars, in the statistics series or in the actuarial series in 2020-2021. Four scientific events were also organized: 3 Pension’s Mornings in the framework of the UCLouvain Excellence Chair in Pensions and the IABE Autumn School “Statistical Feature Extraction and Modelling for Risk and Insurance in the era of Machine Learning”. ISBA members also contributed to the LIDAM Workshop on Covid-19. There have been 15 Applied Statistics workshops focusing on problem-driven statistics organized at ISBA and 2 short courses devoted to causality (models, learning, and invariance) and to the modeling of survival outcomes with high dimensional predictors (methods and applications).

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). ISBA members are involved in 3 ongoing ARC projects: “Sustainable, adequate and safe pensions”, “Negative and ultra-low interest rates: behavioral and quantitative modelling”, and “Imperfect Data: From Mathematical Foundations to Applications in Life Sciences”. Besides public support, ISBA also benefited from fruitful collaboration with private partners mainly from the pharmaceutical and insurance sectors (e.g., SAS, IDDI, GSK, AG Insurance, Ethias). The excellence of the research programs conducted at ISBA is recognized internationally. ISBA moved from rank 3 to rank 2 over the last 2016-2020 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. UCLouvain also ranks in the category 51-100 in the QS World University Ranking, subject Statistics and Operational Research. Last but not least, Johan Segers has been elected to Fellowship in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, in recognition of his outstanding research and professional contributions.


Catherine Legrand, ISBA Chairwoman
Michel Denuit, ISBA Research Director

The detailed key figures can be found here : ISBA Facts and Key Figures Academic Year 2020-2021