Exploring how math changes lives in Africa – a University of Michigan experience
Her dream is to work in Cameroon’s insurance industry. But Laura Ndayong’s master’s degree program doesn’t offer the classes in financial actuarial mathematics that she needs to pursue her goal.
That’s why Ndayong was thrilled to have the opportunity to listen to a lecture about the subject at the Buea International Conference for the Mathematical Sciences.
The course was part of a two-week summer school that runs concurrently with the conference, which the University of Michigan helped sponsor. Guest lecturers from around the world taught at the school.
Ndayong made sure she was sitting in the front row of the talk by Annamaria Olivieri, a professor of actuarial science and finance at the University of Parma in Italy.
“This conference is getting me more motivated,” Ndayong said. “You know, you sit in your room and you say you want to be an actuarian, but you don’t know what it’s all about. But when someone with professional experience comes and talks about it with you, you get more motivated. You see whether you want to get into the field or not. You see what it is all about.”
Ndayong said when a country has a solid industry industry, people have more confidence in the economy.
“It’s true that there are many insurance companies here, but I think we can do better than that,” she said. “We can improve it, so that when you get insured, you can get more benefits than what you are getting now. I want to bring people my data, my models and see how things can improve.”