Name: Thomas Chen
Contact: tkchen@gmail.com

Me: I graduated from UCLA with majors in Mathematics of Computation and Economics. I am an actuary working for a large international insurance firm underwriting and servicing single premium group annuities which is an insurance product used to supplant terminated pension plans.  Currently, I am studying for the SOA actuarial exams.

This Blog:  Without tangible results, I lack motivation in most endeavors I pursue.  (It’s a problem, I know.)  The product of studying is something that is intangible– knowledge.  Like most people, I don’t derive much satisfaction from simply having knowledge.  The only sense of satisfaction I get in having knowledge is in using it.  This motivated me to find a way to demonstrate and record the results of my efforts in order to have something tangible to look at after everything is done.  The product of that motivation is this blog.  At the end of the day, what drives me is not the pursuit of knowledge, but the pursuit of money or distinction.  One other reason for the existence of this blog is that I got my butt kicked in exam MFE despite feeling that I had prepared well going into the exam.

The Material: In addition to logging my studies, the blog is intended to be a record of all the material I’ve covered and thus, will also serve as my final review notes.  I anticipate that one of the biggest challenges I will face in creating this blog is deciding how to write the material without making a carbon copy of the study manual that I am using.  This will be tricky, especially since I’m learning much of this material for the first time.  Much of the organization and presentation may end up being heavily influenced by Weishaus’ study manual.

Comments:  I welcome all constructive criticism.  If you find an error in any of my blog posts, please note it in the comments.  I will do my best to respond and make a correction to the entry.  This blog and the comment sections also support LaTeX– a system that allows you to typeset mathematical equations with very little effort.  For a quick tutorial on how to write LaTeX equations in your comments, go here.  You don’t need to memorize the syntax if you use this on a Mac, or this on a PC.


4 responses to “About

  1. Avan

    I googled: “I lack motivation to study for exams” and your blog was the first to show on my search.

    I recently graduated from UC Irvine in Mathematics and heard about a money dream job known as actuary. But little do I realize the tests are far more demanding than any classes I took at school.

    I recently passed P and I’m having a hard time motivating myself to study for FM when it’s literally a month and a half away. I know people tell me studying these things should be a passion, but you are completely right about not caring enough to know about a knowledge vs using it yourself.

    I hope everything goes well for you and I look forward to more blog updates. I know plenty of actuary friends who quit the profession just because MFE felt impossible.

  2. wq

    one question: Have you past it?

    • uclatommy

      Good question. Yes, I’ve passed but no longer maintaining this site. The content here is pretty old and probably does not reflect the syllabus of the current exam C.

  3. vincent

    Hi Thomas, came across your site when I was annoyed at myself not understanding the sample solution of a given sample question. Your site is brilliant! Good explanations and examples to keep it interesting. A Big Thanks!

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