Lim Yeak Seng is currently reading Actuarial Science at the London School of Economics and Politics (LSE). This personal statement is part of his successful application to LSE, City University London, Heriot-Watt University and University of Warwick for MORSE.
I am intrigued by how stochastic processes are applied in probability theory, in order to capture uncertainty in real world dynamic phenomena. The book ‘Time Series Modelling of Water Resources and Environmental Systems’ by K.W. Hipel impresses me with its employment of statistical methodologies for scientific data analysis of environmental time series. The research undertaken by Silva et al in optimising the generation of power from hydroelectric plants, by utilising linear multivariate time series models to model flows into the reservoirs, has saved Brazil about $87 million in five years. From my research, I believe the time series model can provide a rigorous mathematical formulation of underlying structures and their relation to observable random variables, via its latent variables. I realise the importance of holistic and pragmatic time series models in simulating real world situations and for predicting possible future outcomes.
I was introduced to cladistics by the entomologist, W. Hennig in ‘Phylogenetic Systematics’. The cladograms are assembled by computer analysis of similarities and differences between species, such as characters and DNA sequences. Linnaeus’s classification scheme and Haeckel’s Tree Of Life provide a solid foundation for mathematicians to catalogue nature’s diversity and to reveal the secret of evolution. In 2010, D. Theobald effectively applied cladistics methods to test this hypothesis, known as ‘universal common ancestry’; the results came down firmly in favour of a common ancestry for all present-day life. I am impressed by how the construction of cladograms can make the classification of organisms more systematic, avoiding the subjective decisions of traditional taxonomy. In the future, I aspire to contribute to society by utilising my numerical ability to analyse statistical data in order to construct models with greater predictive power.
As an intern at Yong Sing Insurance, I was introduced to a variety of policies. I am fascinated by how an actuary formulates a policy, taking different variables into consideration with the aim of maximising profits. My second internship at Hong Leong Bank exposed me to the resilience of Malaysia’s existing financial systems. An integrated regional crisis management framework, alongside surveillance mechanisms, puts policymakers in a constant state of preparedness for any eventuality. I am intrigued by how better risk assessments by an actuary allow the best decisions to be made by policymakers for implementing pre-emptive measures. The causes and impacts of the current world financial crisis fascinate me. My reading suggests that the limitations and defects of D. X. Li’s Gaussian Copula model caused the U.S. Subprime Mortgage crisis to aggravate. The unstable correlation between financial quantities and the unpredictability of the parameters of the economic models have made it difficult to assess hugely complex risks accurately. In my view, sufficient historical data about actual defaults needs to be assembled and the indication of rising default risk, such as the soaring price of credit default swap, should be considered when constructing statistical models.
I enjoy solving complicated maths questions and I am currently enrolled in a Data Analysis and Statistical Inference module on Coursera. I am very curious about how statistical theories work; currently, I am studying frequentist and Bayesian inference. Both are useful in parameter estimation, depending on the data size and the availability of the prior distribution.
I have developed my leadership skills and discipline as a Scout Leader. Working as the Treasurer of the Maths Club has given me invaluable experience in managing funds. I enjoy sports and athletics; I represented my District in the International Ekiden Run.
I am a motivated, passionate and determined student who is looking forward to acquiring the skills I need by studying as an undergraduate at a prestigious UK university.
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