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From the Readers
You might be an actuary…

Dear Editor:
Continuing the observations about pizza in the “Humor Me” column of the current issue of the Actuarial Review (May 2009):   

  1. If you let rL be the radius of the larger pizza and rS be the radius of the smaller pizza and let p be the ratio between what you would pay for a unit area of entirely topped pizza and what you would pay for the same area of untopped pizza, and base your decision on the quantity   

    then you just might be a professor of actuarial science.   
  2. If you attempt to improve upon the above formula by taking into account the downward concavity of the utility functions for topped and untopped pizza, then you are probably an economist.

—Homer S. White
Professor of Mathematics and Director,
Academic Honors Program Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY

Dear Editor:
You might be an actuary if it takes four of you to come up with just eight actuarial jokes.   

—Irene K. Bass, FCAS, MAAA   

AR Editor in Chief Paul Lacko replies:
Or five actuaries to come up with just nine.

Dear Editor:
You may be an actuary if at the first grade book sale, you challenge the volunteer’s sale tax calculation.   

Jeremy P. Pecora, FCAS, MAAA   

Dear Editor:
I have long suspected that most actuaries don’t pay much attention to the Actuarial Review but I labored under the misimpression that the editors, at least, read it. Does the Young, Swartz, Adler, and Lacko “Humor Me” article bear more than a passing resemblance to the May 2008 “Random Sampler”?   

—Charles McClenahan, FCAS, MAAA   

The Editor in Chief replies:
There’s more than a passing resemblance, we must admit. Readers can see for themselves in your “Random Sampler” (“You Might be an Actuarial Consultant,” Actuarial Review, May 2008).   

It’s entirely not the result of conscious intent. We attend closely to spelling, punctuation, grammar, word count, and all that. We often forget the content before an issue goes to the printer. Obviously, some of the best material stays in the backs of our minds for a long time!   

We’ve come a long way…   

Dear Editor:
I was pleased that you revisited my puzzler of 25 years ago (“25 Years Ago in the Actuarial Review,” AR, May 2009). I remember it well.   

In re-reading it I recalled why I chose the first name, “Reggie.” I did it to invalidate any suspicion of “sexism.” There was a member of the CAS named Regina Berens, and of course, “Reginald” is a man’s name.   

Female CAS members may remember that I welcomed their presence. In one of my articles for the Review, I listed the growth in the number of women members as the second (of ten) most important developments by the CAS. The “first” was growth (in size) of the CAS.   

Charles C. Hewitt Jr., FCAS

Editor’s note: Mr. Hewitt served as CAS president in 1972. Ms. Berens is still an active member of the CAS.

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