IRisk Lab External

The IRisk External Team

Dedicated and motivated to foster industry-academic collaboration and nurture students’ curiousity.

Past Faculty Members

Klara Buysse

De Nederlandsche Bank
Co-Founder of IRisk Lab

Klara Buysee was the coordinator of the Illinois Risk Lab from Fall 2018 to Spring 2020.  She holds a master degree in Mathematics and an advanced master degree in Actuarial Science, both from the KU Leuven (Belgium). Actuarial Science helped to put a practical layer on the mathematical modelling she had encountered during her mathematical studies. Klara has worked for several years in the field of risk management at Generali Belgium and at NN Insurance Belgium. She became an expert in various quantitative studies (Solvency II, Market consist Valuation, New Business Valuation, etc). In 2017 Klara became an instructor of actuarial science at the University of Illinois. She taught topics of life insurance, casualty insurance, risk management, extreme value theory, programming, etc. Now Klara is working for De Nederlandsche Bank in the Netherlands, where she is a supervisor of insurance companies.

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.

Daniël Linders

Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance – University of Amsterdam
Co-Founder of IRisk Lab

Daniël Linders is an Assistant Professor in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance at UvA. He is also a guest lecturer at the KU Leuven (Belgium) where he teaches the course Foundations of Quantitative Risk Measurement and he is the co-founder of the Illinois Risk Lab. at the University of Illinois. Daniël’s research interests are at the crossover between Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance, where he considers problems involving all kinds of dependencies between risks. He has a master degree in Actuarial Science from the KU Leuven and also holds the professional credential of the Certificate in Quantitative Finance (Fitch Learning). 

Graduate Supervisors

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. 

Haoen Cui

IRisk Lab alumnus

Haoen Cui is an Associate Data Scientist on the Energy vertical team at Uptake, a Chicago-based startup focusing on AI/ML preventive maintenance solutions for the industrial IoT space. His responsibilities include data science modeling, data engineering, DevOps support, application product building, etc. Before joining Uptake, Haoen obtained several degrees from the University of Illinois and worked on a few projects at the iRisk Lab before the lab was formally established. Outside of work, Haoen is actively broadening his knowledge in machine learning and mathematical finance. He is currently pursuing master’s degrees at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin.

Biwen Ling 

Master student in Actuarial Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Biwen Ling used to be a graduate student in our Actuarial Science program, she also holds a bachelor degree in Applied Mathematics from Nankai University (China).  She has a strong interest in derivative pricing, herd behavior index and statistic models. She participated actively in IRisk Lab: She took part in the project focusing on herd behavior index in Fall 2018 and supervised the project European-type basket option pricing: independence and comonotonicity approximations in Fall 2019. In addition, she was also a team member of a student consulting project, which cooperated with a third-party insurance company Paratus LLC in Spring 2019. Now she is planning to apply for a PhD program in related areas.

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.

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.