The Power of Professor-Student Partnerships
My name is Cameron Gmitra and I recently graduated with a degree in actuarial mathematics with a minor in computer science. At KSU, I have enjoyed my time learning more about math and computer science. Kent State’s excellent math and computer science programs have challenged me to become a better critical thinker and given me the skills I need to succeed.
Actuarial mathematics is a blend of math, finance and statistics as they relate to insurance, with the goal to become an actuary after graduation. Prospective actuaries must take a sequence of exams to become credentialed.
At KSU, the classes I have taken have helped me to pass two exams while still in college, which has been very beneficial in advancing my career.
In my second semester at Kent State, I was connected with the Choose Ohio First program, which provides a large scholarship each semester with the requirement that the student must complete research while they are in college. One of the best things about my time at KSU has been the opportunity to participate in mathematical research alongside Dr. Kasturiarachi from the Stark Campus.
Dr. Kasturiarachi helped me complete two research projects over the past three years at KSU. My first project was “Portraits of Infinite Geometric Series,” in which we were able to create diagrams that show how infinite geometric series converge to a certain number. I was chosen to represent KSU’s Choose Ohio First program and present on this topic at the statehouse in Columbus.
I received the second-place award for my research on this topic at the Undergraduate Symposium on Research in 2022.
My second research project was done through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, which is a paid research program that allows students to spend the whole summer working on a research project alongside a mentor. In this project, Dr. Kasturiarachi helped me explore mutual funds which we modeled through a technique called “Bollinger Bands.” These bands use moving average and standard deviation to model the prices of mutual funds.
I have talked about this topic at the Three Minute Thesis event, and presented at the Undergraduate Symposium on Research in 2023.
Dr. Kasturiarachi has been the biggest influence on my KSU experience, helping me develop critical skills like presenting on complex topics and thinking creatively. Having the opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor throughout my college experience was amazing, providing me with guidance on my personal academic skills and the classes I should take.
Completing research with Dr. Kasturiarachi also helped me find a job after graduation with Western and Southern Financial Group in Cincinnati.
When interviewing for actuarial analyst positions, my research projects stood out on my resume and made a great talking point with my interviewers. Learning how to talk about complex topics to an audience who is unfamiliar with math is one of the most important skills as an actuary, so I am very grateful that I was able to gain that skill from my research projects.
Overall, Kent State has been the perfect fit for me, allowing me to graduate with the capabilities I need to be successful in my career as an actuary. I highly recommend completing a research project while at Kent State. These projects are open to all majors and are key in setting students apart from the crowd. Kent State has been a welcoming and supportive environment throughout my time here, and I am glad to be a Golden Flash.