ACTL4305 Actuarial Data Analytic Applications - 2020

ACTL4305
Undergraduate
Term 3
6 Units of Credit
Online
Risk & Actuarial Studies
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course covers the actuarial professional associateship syllabus for the data analytics process. It combines data analytics and modelling concepts with the practical applications of modern analytical tools and techniques, as well as their actuarial applications. This course covers the key iterative steps involved in building a model - business understanding, data understanding and preparation, modelling, evaluation, communication and deployment. Particular focus will be on the selection of appropriate predictive modelling techniques for a stated situation and how to evaluate the suitability of a model, taking into account business context and objectives, as well as on the communication of modelling results to a range of business decision making audiences.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​The aim of this course is to provide students with understanding and ability to handle actuarial data in order to solve actuarial problems.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrDr Fei Huang

The course lecturer-in-charge is Dr Fei Huang. She is responsible for the teaching and assessment of the course. All administrative and academic (learning) enquiries to do with the course should be directed to Fei. Fei's consultation times details will be posted on the course website.

The course tutors will be announced on the course website. Their consultation times will also be posted on the course Moodle web site.

Students are strongly encouraged to post their questions on the course forums.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​​The approach adopted in this course is a “blended” classroom. This approach integrates student-centred, in-class (live) learning with self-study (home) learning.  In this “blended” approach, the first conceptual encounter with the materials happens at home when students study the relevant course material (e.g. video lectures, lecture notes and reading lists). The second conceptual encounter with the material of a given module happens in class (live online), i.e. in a “lectorial”, to deepen the understanding of related topics, spark students’ interest with practical case studies, answer students' questions in the self-study process and provide a context for the subsequent modules and lab sessions. The word “lectorial” combines lecture and tutorial - lecture because they are run by the lecturer with the whole group, and tutorial because their goal is not to “lecture” students. In a lectorial, the lecturer provides a high-level summary of the key concepts of the module and runs other activities (such as discussions, advanced exercises, guest lectures, real-life applications) that aim to cement students’ learning. Finally, the students move on to practicing their knowledge via in-class (live online) labs in small groups. Lab sessions aim to equip students with the application and implementation skills using software (R, R Studio, R Markdown) by solving real-world problems and provide personalised help on a weekly basis. This course consists of:

  • Self-study course material available on the course Moodle website (e.g. textbook chapters, video lectures, lecture notes, exercises/questions),
  • Weekly lectorials,
  • Weekly labs, and
  • Weekly consultation times.


Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​The learning activities of this course involve four key components – your private self-study, the lectorials, the labs and the assessments. It is expected that the students will take a proactive approach to learning.

Self-study

Students are responsible for learning topics with the following materials available on the course website:

  • Topic video lectures,
  • Reading list of book chapters,
  • Lecture notes,
  • Exercises/questions.

It is recommended to have watched the associated lecture videos and reading materials prior to the lectorials. Lectorials will generally summarize the key concepts, provide additional exercises/case studies and discuss questions that students may have in their self-study. It will not necessarily cover all the details of the course readings or videos.

Every student has a different approach to learning. How much time you spend on reading and watching videos in preparation for lectures, completing assessment tasks, reviewing course objectives, deepening your understanding and preparing for final examinations will depend on your learning approach. Students who are successful in this course take an active approach to learning.

Your private home study is the most important component of this course. Weekly watching and readings, solving problems, and your own topic summaries form the basis of an excellent private study regime. Keeping up to date is very important and each week builds on the prior weeks so it is important that you get your study regime organised quickly.

Lectorials

The purpose of lectorials is to provide a high-level summary of the related topics, to emphasise the important concepts and methods of each topic, to provide relevant case studies to which the concepts and methods are applied, and to get students prepared for the lab sessions. Lectorials also provide opportunities to ask questions about the associated modules. Students are also encouraged to prepare questions and communicate them to the lecturer in advance via the forums. Guest lectures with industry speakers are also embedded in lectorials.

Labs (tutorials)

The more you read the more you know, but the more you practice the more you learn and understand. So the key to understanding this course is practicing. The labs will focus on the computer implementation in R/R Markdown of the topics covered in the course with practical case studies.

The purpose of labs is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the techniques they learned to practical case studies using software R/R Markdown. We encourage students to raise questions about difficult topics or problems encountered in your studies. They are an opportunity to learn from other students and to develop team skills by working on problems with other students.

A good learning strategy for the labs is:

  • Prior to the lab, review your lecture notes/videos, read and preview the lab materials.
  • During the lab, attempt the lab tasks. If you have questions about the exercises, ask them to your tutor. You are also encouraged to answer questions of your peers. This will give you feedback on your ability to explain the material and hence how well you know the material.
  • After the lab, review the exercises, and check your answers using the solutions.

5. Course Resources

Course website

The website for this course is on Teams.

The course will use various digital resources, but they all will be linked from Teams.

The course pre-requisites (ACTL3142/5110) materials will be available on Moodle, which is linked via Teams. To access the Moodle online support site for students, follow the links from that website to UNSW Moodle Support/Support for Students. Additional technical support can be obtained from itservicecentre@unsw.edu.au (02 9385 1333).

All course contents will be available from the course website. It is essential that you visit the site regularly to see any notices posted there by the course coordinator, as it will be assumed that they are known to you within a reasonable time.

Textbooks

There are many books of relevance to the course topics. We will use book chapters from different books. And the specific reading list for each module will be posted on Moodle. The main books used in the course as listed below:

  • Wickham, H., & Grolemund, G. (2016). R for data science: import, tidy, transform, visualize, and model data. O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • Peng, R. D., & Matsui, E. (2016). The Art of Data Science: A guide for anyone who works with Data. Skybrude consulting LLC.
  • James, G., Witten, D., Hastie, T., & Tibshirani, R. (2013). An introduction to statistical learning. New York: springer.
  • Hastie, T., Tibshirani, R., & Friedman, J. (2009). The elements of statistical learning: data mining, inference, and prediction. Springer Science & Business Media.

Additional readings from other books and the professional actuarial literature will also be used to provide additional context, details, and examples. This will be communicated in the course website.

The Actuaries Institute

The Actuaries Institute allows students to become University Subscribers free of charge. Full-time undergraduates studying at an Institute accredited university who are members of a university student actuarial society are eligible. To sign up.


6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW's myExperience survey is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. In this course, we will seek your feedback through end of semester myExperience responses and other informal forums.

Following on the positive feedback received over the last years on the use of “flipped and blended” approach in other courses, such a learning and teaching strategy is adopted for the delivery of the course this year.



7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit: https://student.unsw.edu.au/new-calendar-dates
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
1: 14 SepSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Introduction of Actuarial Data Analytics
  • Business Environment
  • Exploratory Data Analysis: Data Visualisation
  • Case Study

See Moodle for the latest timetable and materials, which are subject to change.

2: 21 SepSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Exploratory Data Analysis: Manipulation and Transformation
  • Exploratory Data Analysis: Import Data, Quality Check and Data Cleansing
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
3: 28 SepSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Communication
  • Modelling and Data Preparation
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
4: 5 OctSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Linear Regression and Shrinkage Techniques
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
5: 12 OctSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Model Assessment and Selection
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
6: 19 OctFlexibility Week
  • Assignment 1 due at the beginning of Week 6
7: 26 OctSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Generalized Linear Model (GLM)
  • Industry Guest Lecture with Practical Case Studies
  • Weekly Discussion Question
8: 2 NovSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Random Forests
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
9: 9 NovSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Gradient Boosting Machine
  • Industry Guest Lecture with Practical Case Studies
  • Weekly Discussion Question
10: 16 NovSelf-study, lectorial and labs
  • Neural Networks
  • Professional Ethics in Data Modelling
  • Case Study
  • Weekly Discussion Question
  • Assignment 2 due

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.




Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.

Plagiarism

UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism-quiz

Cheating

The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/aim.

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: http://subjectguides.library.unsw.edu.au/elise. For information on student conduct see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/conduct.

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/referencing. If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.


Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.

Workload

It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload

Attendance

Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.



Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
BUS.EQS.Consultations@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
learningcentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
advisors@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
International.student@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
els@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
counselling@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
externalteltsupport@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT
UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333



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