Risk: modelling, optimization and inference workshop held at UNSW


Monday, 15th December 2014

Risk 1
The second UNSW-CSIRO workshop on “Risk: Modelling, Optimization and Inference (with Applications in Finance, Insurance and Superannuation)” was held at UNSW, on 11-12 December 2014.

The workshop responded to the need to facilitate a better understanding of managing risky events in finance such as financial crises, risks in portfolio management, credit risks, longevity risk and others. The need to manage risk of other extreme events, such as bushfires, floods and hurricane damage, airline delays, risks in relation to life insurance and life annuities, is also becoming increasingly important. The benefits of risk management are well understood by the community. Modelling and assessing risk, risk evaluation and estimation are topical issues for many diverse industries.

The role of academics is to provide useful fundamental research in this area that is then to be implemented in the industry.   Risk 2

This workshop followed the tradition and the format established by the first workshop that was held two years ago here, at UNSW. The first workshop was a one-day event, organised by Associate Professor Spiridon Penev from the Department of Statistics (UNSW) and Pavel Shevchenko (CSIRO, Adjunct Professor at UNSW).

The second workshop, held on 11-12 December 2014, was a two-day event, with twice as many invited speakers (16), and twice as many participants (more than 110). The invited speakers hailed from seven countries (Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, USA) on four continents, and are leading researchers and experts in their respective area. This time Professor Michael Sherris from the School of Risk and Actuarial Studies and from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, UNSW, and Professor Pierre Del Moral (Department of Statistics, UNSW) were also involved in the shaping of the workshop’s program.

Risk 3The audience of the workshop was mixed. The level of most of the talks was suitable for postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students who formed a notable portion of the audience. The rest were academics from different universities in Australia and overseas, and practitioners working on different aspects of risk in banks, in the superannuation industry, in insurance, and in other private companies.

Overall, the workshop was a great event, with talks of a very high standard. The coffee and lunch breaks were used efficiently to enhance the interaction between the participants and the invited speakers.