Actuarial Models II

Description: Lecture, four hours. Enforced requisite: course 172B. Designed to prepare students for Society of Actuaries Models for Life Contingencies examination. Theoretical basis of certain actuarial models and application to insurance, pensions, and other financial risks. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.2
Easiness 1.2/ 5
Clarity 3.5/ 5
Workload 1.5/ 5
Helpfulness 4.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
**IGNORE THE ABOVE, I TOOK PIC 10A** Bing was awesome -- really enjoyed having him as a professor. He teaches upper division math classes as well as intro programming ones, so he really knows what he's doing. He's a clear lecturer, and helpful, welcoming, and approachable both in class and in office hours (go to office hours and he'll come to YOU to ask if you have questions!). He sometimes talked a little too fast but would always stop and ask for questions, so it was forgivable. Programming is not an easy subject to learn for the first time -- or to teach well -- and I really applaud Prof. Cheng for exceeding my expectations. I had no programming experience at all going in -- hadn't ever seen code in my life -- I feel like I really did learn a lot in this class. That said, some of the homeworks were TOUGH -- definitely had to go to office hours for lots of help with a few of them -- but they did help me understand the material. I wish I'd known before going into this class just how big of a time commitment it was going to be. The workload was sporadic; I didn't really do any work outside of class for the first few weeks, and starting weeks 4-5 I'd spend at least 15 hrs/week. I guess that's more of the nature of the course, but just be ready for it. Lots of people drop this class because they aren't prepared for the time commitment and difficulty if you haven't programmed before. That's not to say it's impossible, because it's definitely not -- but you should know and be ready for a LOT of work regardless of your professor. Programming, like learning any other foreign language, takes time to learn. You won't be able to slack off all quarter and get everything right in the end. But, when your programs work, even if some of them do useless crap like rearrange the letter in names, they're pretty cool. One of the good things about Bing is that some of the homeworks, though probably more difficult and time-consuming than those from other professors, are definitely worth saving for future classes and programming (especially when you write a class that handles arbitrarily large integers). Exams were fair and pretty standard. Could be a little tricky, but he'd never throw the complete "wtf is this?!" questions at us, which was nice. Posts all his detailed lecture notes and lots of good exercises online -- very helpful. He posts a lot more stuff than you'll probably have time to work through, but they're all good; the more you do, the better you'll get. All in all, I definitely had my fair share of struggling and cursing out this class -- but all of my frustration was against debugging my programs, not Bing. He's a solid professor and I'd take him again any day. BOTTOM LINE: For PIC 10A, Bing's class might be a tad more difficult than other profs, but if you haven't programmed before, you won't be getting off easy in this class no matter what, so might as well take Cheng to make sure it's worth your time.
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