30 April 2020

Christian Furrer awarded with the GAUSS Prize


Christian Furrer from the University of Copenhagen and PFA Pension has been awarded this year's GAUSS Prize by the German Association of Actuaries for outstanding scientific work in insurance and financial mathematics.

Christian FurrerChristian Furrer has been awarded the GAUSS Prize (endowed with 3,000 euros) for his work “Experience rating in the classic Markov chain life insurance setting. An empirical Bayes and multivariate frailty approach”.

Behind the prize stands The German Society for Insurance and Financial Mathematics and the The German Association of Actuaries. A high-level expert panel from science and practice awards the prize for research papers that build a bridge between scientific quality and great practical relevance.

The selection process for the Gauss Prize is new: from this year on, the expert jury selects the winner of the main prize from all papers published in the European Actuarial Journal (EAJ) of that year. For 2019 that is Volume 9 of the EAJ.

Bridge between academia and practice

"I am very surprised and deeply honored. I owe my thanks to my supervisors Mogens Steffensen and Kristian Buchardt, who have been part of the whole journey from idea to publication. I should also like to thank the Innovation Fund Denmark and PFA Pension for giving me the opportunity - as an Industrial PhD student - to build bridges between academia and practice: an effort which is now acknowledged internationally" says Christian Furrer.

"In the paper, I look for simple benchmark models, to be used for example for experience rating in multi-state life insurance, by conceptually linking mathematical structures to work flows in practice."

The expert jury said this, when assessing the work:

“Christian Furrer’s paper presents a new approach to the assessment of shrinkage of collectives in life insurance. (…) What is remarkable and worthy of praise is his approach of describing the changes of the collective in jumps, which – in contrast to uniform shrinkage – depicts reality more precisely.”

DAV, DGVFM and the Gauss Prize

The German Association of Actuaries (Deutsche Aktuarvereinigung e.V., DAV) is the professional representation of all actuaries in Germany with more than 5,300 members. The German Society for Insurance and Financial Mathematics ("Deutsche Gesellschaft für Versicherungs- und Finanz­mathematik e.V.", DGVFM) is the scientific partner organisation of DAV with approximately 5,200 individual and 70 institutional members.

To support and motivate especially scientists and young actuaries to investigate open actuarial questions, the DGVFM and DAV have established the annual Gauss Prize in 1998. The aim is to build bridges between actuarial science and the insurance and finance industry.

The prize is usually awarded at the annual meeting of the DAV and DGVFM where the prizewinner presents the award winning paper. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this years' meeting was an e-conference from 28 to 30 April 2020 on the media platform www.actuview.com. The platform is for members only.

See the press release of 29 April 2020