College-wide events

MCFAM Seminar Series: “A mixed bond and equity fund model for the valuation of segregated fund policies"

Please join us for our first seminar of fall semester! This seminar will feature Frederic Godin from Concordia University in Montreal who will discuss a mixed bond and equity fund model for the valuation of segregated fund policies.

Zoom meeting link

About the lecture
Segregated fund and variable annuity policies are typically issued on mutual funds invested in both fixed income and equity asset classes. However, due to the lack of specialized models to represent the dynamics of fixed income fund returns, the literature has primarily focused on studying long-term investment guarantees on single-asset equity funds. This seminar focuses on a mixed bond and equity fund model in which the fund return is linked to movements of the yield curve. Theoretical motivation for the researchers' proposed specification is provided through an analogy with a portfolio of rolling horizon bonds. Moreover, basis risk between the portfolio return and its risk drivers is naturally incorporated into their framework. Numerical results show that the fit of the researchers' model to segregated fund data is adequate. Finally, the valuation of segregated fund policies is illustrated and it is found that the interest rate environment can have a substantial impact on guarantee costs.

About the speaker
Frederic Godin is an associate professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Godin's research interests are financial engineering, risk management, actuarial science, reinforcement learning, stochastic modeling, dynamics programing, variable annuities and energy markets. He holds the Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) designations and is part of the Quantact research group.

CEMS Homecoming Pre-Game Gathering and Football Game

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021

9-10:30 a.m. Pre-Game Gathering
Amundson Hall
421 Washington Ave. SE

Meet us on the plaza outside Amundson Hall for guest check-in, coffee, doughnuts, and football ticket pickup.

11 a.m. Homecoming Football Game
Huntington Bank Stadium (formerly TCF Bank Stadium)
420 SE 23rd Ave.

Register by Saturday, Sept. 18.

Cost is $35 per person and includes a CEMS knit hat (black or maroon, color availability while supplies last), coffee, doughnuts, and game ticket for a chair-back seat in section 214. Registration deadline: Noon on Sept. 18, 2021. All ticket sales are final and refunds will not be issued.

Tickets purchased via the CEMS ticket block will be available for pickup at the east entrance of Amundson Hall (closest to Washington Ave. Ramp) on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 from 9-10:30 a.m. The football game starts at 11 a.m. at Huntington Bank Stadium.

Visit the Gopher Sports website to find Gopher Football gameday information including parking, Metro Transit, and shuttle options.

Please contact or 612-624-0836 with questions or concerns.

2021 Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) Annual Conference

IEM’s Annual Conference offers rich opportunities for participants to develop interdisciplinary collaborations between health sciences and engineering, and form teams of collaborators responding to federal/external funding opportunities. The event will open with plenary keynote talks by nationally recognized leaders, followed by an award ceremony and a lunch session in which IEM leaders will outline an overview of the Institute and options for engagement. The conference will end in the afternoon with a student poster session that highlights the research of faculty members and their groups, and a poster competition that will result in several awards being given for the best student posters.

Register for the conference!

This event is free but registration is required. A virtual participation option will be offered. For more information contact us at

noRth 2021

Are you an intermediate or advanced R user looking for an opportunity to expand your knowledge and connect with the diverse R community in the Twin Cities? We’d love for you to join us VIRTUALLY at noRth 2021!

R is a multifunctional, open source tool used to do data visualization, statistical analysis, and data science across diverse sectors, fields, and industries. Getting the most out of R requires constant learning and skill development because it is always changing. The noRth Conference brings R users from the Upper Midwest together to share expertise, develop skills, and connect with one another.

For more information, visit the Institute for Research in Statistics and its Applications noRth 2021 webpage!

Register for the conference!


ISyE Seminar: “Map Technologies for Ride-Sharing”

Please join us for our next seminar via Zoom. This analytics-focused seminar will feature Dawn Woodard from Uber who will discuss map technologies for ride-sharing.

3:30 - Graduate seminar
4:30 p.m. - Reception

Zoom link
Password: ISyE2021

*Required attendance for students in IE 5773, 8773, and 8774

About the Seminar

Extensive literature now exists on methods for pricing and matching in ride-sharing platforms, such as Uber, Lyft, Didi Chuxing, and Ola. However, less attention has been paid to the complex geospatial inputs required for these systems. For example, carpool matching methods require accurate predictions of the time required to travel between any two locations in the road network. Woodard and her team describe geospatial (map) technologies, including those for travel time prediction and route optimization, that can be used in the context of such large-scale vehicle decision systems. The researchers showcase the challenges, such as data sparsity on parts of the road network, and the fact that highly accurate predictions need to take into account the detailed dynamics of a physical system (traffic patterns in a road network). They also compare several common approaches for travel time prediction, and provide rigorous theoretical results showing that one class of approaches has higher accuracy than alternatives.

About the Speaker

Dawn Woodard leads modeling and data analytics for platforms including Uber Maps, which is the mapping platform used in Uber’s user interfaces and decision systems. The team’s technologies include road map and points of interest definition, map search, route optimization, travel time prediction, and navigation.

Geological Society of Minnesota Seminar

Seminar Lab presenter: Larry “Boot” Pierce, M.Sc., Chief, Geologic Resources Section, Missouri Geological Survey

Seminar Lab Subject: Earthquake Science and Impacts of a Major Earthquake on the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Seminar Lab Location : Virtual lecture 7:00 PM CT. Registration instructions will be posted on the Geological Society of Minnesota website two weeks before the lecture.

Department of Mechanical Engineering Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

You are invited to watch as Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) graduate students have exactly three minutes to explain their research in an engaging and easy-to-understand format.

Guests have the opportunity to attend in person, or watch a live video stream.

The evening will be an exciting display of the diversity of research in ME today, with topics ranging from energy and the environment to human health. ME's graduate students engage in pioneering, interdisciplinary research and will become the next leaders in mechanical engineering in both academia and industry. The purpose of the competition is to celebrate the innovative research conducted by our graduate students and to cultivate their academic, presentation, and research communications skills.

Learn More and Register for the event!

If you have questions, contact Jennifer Clarke at More information is also available on the ME website's 3MT competition page

Conversation with a NASA James Webb Space Telescope Expert

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space. Building upon the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb will be able to look deeper and reveal more than ever before.

Register for the event!

Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.

Visit Bell Museum's Conversation with a NASA James Webb Space Telescope Expert for more information.

Virtual Star Party: Countdown to Launch, James Webb Space Telescope

5-4-3-2-1 Blast Off! The highly anticipated launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is almost here. To gear up and get ready for the launch, our planetarium team will dig into the science and engineering of the Webb while we enjoy views of the sky through our own, ground-based, telescopes. Webb is scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct 31, 2021.

Register for the event!

Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.

Visit Bell Museum's Virtual Star Party: Countdown to Launch, James Webb Space Telescope for more information.

Geological Society of Minnesota Seminar

Seminar Lab presenter: Lon Abbott, Ph.D., Teaching Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado

Seminar Lab Subject: A Brief Geologic History of Colorado

Seminar Lab Location : Virtual lecture 7:00 PM CT. Registration instructions will be posted on the Geological Society of Minnesota website two weeks before the lecture.