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Melissa Gardenghi

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Photo of Melissa Gardenghi

Chair, Division of Mathematical Science
mgardeng@bju.edu

Bob Jones University
1700 Wade Hampton Blvd
Greenville, SC 29614

Office Hours

Office hours will be by appointment this semester. 

Reaching Dr. Gardenghi/Making an Office Appointment

 Direct link to Calendly for making appointments:

https://calendly.com/mgardeng/20min

 

About Melissa

Melissa Gardenghi, Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Division, completed a B.S. in Engineering and an M.Ed. in Math Education from Bob Jones University. She then continued on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University. In addition to her graduate work, she has passed the Society of Actuaries Exams P and FM and completed the VEE credentials in Applied Statistics and Corporate Finance (see full bio).

 

Professional Interests

  • helping students improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their learning
  • teaching students to apply mathematical/statistical tools to solve relevant problems

 

Improving Math Study

We will be offering a weekly seminar for math and actuarial students to discuss practical ways to improve mathematical learning (Fridays, 8am).  Contact Dr. Gardenghi for more information.  I've also given a couple of seminars related to studying mathematics.  Resources from those are available on our departmental website.

Favorite Chalk

I still prefer using the chalk board to teach over every other available medium (although I do use other options when necessary).  Hagoromo chalk has become my favorite brand.  It writes smoothly, is easy to read, erases cleanly and easily, and makes less chalk dust ... and if you like math, you'll probably enjoy this video about how other people who like math love using Hagoromo chalk to do their math.

Resources for Actuarial Students

Learn more about the Actuarial Profession - Sponsored by SOA (Society of Actuaries) and CAS (Casualty Actuarial Society)

Society of Actuaries - Educational Pathway to Actuary Credentials
Casualty Actuarial Society - Educational Pathway to Actuary Credentials

Arkansas Tech University, Department of Mathematics - Free Resources for Actuarial Exams
Coaching Actuaries - Fee-based Resources for Actuarial Exams (highly recommended by current/former actuarial students)
Actex - Official Publisher of Actuarial Resources

 

Learning the statistical software R

R is an open-source statistical software package that can be downloaded from https://www.r-project.org/.  A more user-friendly interface, RStudio, is available from https://www.rstudio.com/ (be sure to install R first, otherwise RStudio won't run).

Things to remember:  R is powerful (and free), but a little hard to learn to use (you have to pay big money for the easier to use interfaces, which are actually less flexible to the advanced user).  Persevere, learn to use google effectively, and don't be afraid to try things.

The Society of Actuaries recommends the book R for Everyone as preparation for their Predictive Analytics exam, and it may be a good place to start (especially if you are planning on taking SOA exams).  The following are a selection of tutorials that you may find useful in starting to learn R:

A selection of user manuals is avaliable at https://cran.r-project.org/manuals.html.  However, unless you want to work through the manual, I find google to be more efficient in answering my questions.  A selection of pdf cheat sheets can be handy and is available at https://www.rstudio.com/resources/cheatsheets/.

Classes Taught

Depending on departmental need, I usually teach a subset of the following courses:

Ma 103 College Algebra Ma 391 Topics in Optimization
Ma 105 Trigonometry Ma 404 Probability & Statistics I
Ma 180 Applied Calculus Ma 405 Probability & Statistics II
Ma 199 Intro to Mathematical Studies Ma 415 Regression & Time Series
Ma 220 Mathematical Problem Solving Ma 418 Actuarial Mathematics I
Ma 299 Mathematical Proofs Ma 419 Actuarial Mathematics II
Ma 301 Calculus III Ma 480 Mathematics Capstone Experience I
Ma 308 Theory of Interest Ma 481 Mathematics Capstone Experience II
Ma/BA 320 Applied Statistics Ma 488 Applictions of Probability
Ma 388 Applications of Finance Ma 498 Applications of Actuarial Mathematics