The IRisk Team

Dedicated and motivated to foster industry-academic collaboration and nurture students' curiosity

Faculty Members

 
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Alfred Chong

Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science - University of Illinois

Co-Founder of IRisk Lab

Alfred Chong, ASA, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics of the University of Illinois. His research area are in Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics, with broad research topics, including risk sharing, investment and consumption strategies, life insurance product and retirement planning, and cyber risk. In general, Alfred is interested in solving any timely and revolutionary decision-making problems on topics in Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics, via optimization, stochastic control, machine learning, and data analytics. He publishes in top-tier academic journals, such as Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, and Finance and Stochastics. He has been invited to speak at international academic and industry conferences. Alfred holds a Ph.D. in Actuarial Science from The University of Hong Kong and King's College London.

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Runhuan Feng

Professor & Director of Actuarial Science - University of Illinois

Co-Founder of IRisk Lab

Runhuan Feng, FSA, CERA, is a Professor, the Director of Actuarial Science, the State Farm Companies Foundation Scholar in Actuarial Science and a Helen Corley Petit Professorial Scholar at the University of Illinois. He has a wide spectrum of research interests in mathematics and economics of risk and uncertainty in the financial world. He has published extensively on top-tier actuarial and quantitative finance journals. He is an Associate Editor of North American Actuarial Journal, Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability, and Quantitative Finance and Economics. As an applied scientist, Runhuan strongly believes that most interesting research problems are discovered in response to the changing needs of the industry and the society. He co-founded the Illinois Risk Lab, which facilitates research activities that integrate experiential learning for Illinois students and address industrial problems. Runhuan’s research has been recognized in the practitioners’ community through his applied technical contributions and presentations as invited speakers at industry conferences. He is also a frequent consultant to professional organizations, non-profit organizations and start-ups.

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Zhiyu (Frank) Quan

Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science - University of Illinois

Zhiyu (Frank) Quan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Illinois. Before joining Illinois, he worked for a cutting-edge Insurtech company as an R & D data scientist developing data-driven solutions to major insurance companies. He holds a Ph.D. in Actuarial Science from the University of Connecticut. He has a broad spectrum of research interests in data science applications in insurance: tree-based models, natural language processing, deep learning.

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Richard Sowers

Professor of ISE & Mathematics - University of Illinois

Richard Sowers is a Professor of the University of Illinois. He is appointed in the Department of Industrial and  enterprise Systems Engineering, the Deparment of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland. His interests are in various applied problems which have impact. His formal training is in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. "I find that some of the more interesting problems I have worked on have come from looking at the real world with a strongly quantitative toolset. Along the way, I have spent time at a hedge fund and consulted for private industry and the U.S. Government.  Finally, at the moment I am the associate head for undergraduate studies in the department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering."

 

Graduate Supervisors

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Samal Abdikerimova

Ph.D. Student in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Samal Abdikerimova is a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her PhD concentration is in Actuarial Science and Risk Analytics. Her research project with Dr. Runhuan Feng is about peer-to-peer(P2P) insurance and mutual aid plan. The manuscript is available online. Currently, she is working with both Dr. Daniel Linders and Dr.Runhuan Feng on Pandemic bond and peer-to-peer risk pooling. She was an active participant in IRisk Lab: she supervised a project P2P insurance in Spring 2020. 

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Elizaveta Sizova

Ph.D. Student in Accounting, Finance, and Insurance at the KU Leuven

Elizaveta Sizova is the visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the UIUC. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Insurance at the KU Leuven, Belgium. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) and a M.Sc. in Business Economics from the KU Leuven. Her research interests are in risk management, banking and financial regulation. Elizaveta joined the Illinois Risk Lab in Spring 2020 and her project (co-supervised with Professor Daniёl Linders) «Implied Portfolio Value-at-Risk: model-free and forward-looking risk estimates for investment portfolios» got an Honorable Mention Award at the 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium at the UIUC.

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Yong Xie

Ph.D. Student in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yong Xie is a Ph.D. student in Mathematics with Concentration in Actuarial Science and Risk Analytics at University of Illinois. He is interested in the arising challenges and opportunities of risk analytics and risk management in the era of big data and artificial intelligence. Most recently, he has been working on a series of research projects on adversarial risk in the financial market. Besides, he also works with Dr. Daniel Linders on herd behavior and its impact in stock market.  He is an active participant in IRisk Lab: he supervised project Measuring Intra-day Systemic Risk in High-frequency OrderBooks in Spring 2020 and project Using Text Mining and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Extract Actuarial-Related Information from Online Customer Reviews for Businesses in Fall 2020.

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Linfeng Zhang

Ph.D. Student in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Linfeng Zhang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His concentration is in Actuarial Science and Risk Analytics. Before he joined the doctoral program, he worked at the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) as a research assistant on various topics on cyber risks and cyber insurance. With his work and research experience in this field, he has been supervising IRisk Lab projects related to cyber since Fall 2019. Additionally, he has been working with Professor Alfred Chong and Professor Runhuan Feng on several cutting-edge topics including pandemic risks and lifecycle planning and has been supervising student projects on those topics in the IRisk Lab.