Researcher

Professor Qihe Tang

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Insurance studies, Banking, finance and investment, Operations research, Environment and climate finance

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Biography

Qihe Tang, Professor of Actuarial Science at UNSW Sydney.

After earning his PhD in statistics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2001, he has worked at different places around the world including the University of Hong Kong (2001), the University of Amsterdam (2002-2004), Concordia University (2004-2005), and the University of Iowa (2006-2019). At the University of Iowa, he was promoted to Full Professor in 2012 and...view more

Qihe Tang, Professor of Actuarial Science at UNSW Sydney.

After earning his PhD in statistics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2001, he has worked at different places around the world including the University of Hong Kong (2001), the University of Amsterdam (2002-2004), Concordia University (2004-2005), and the University of Iowa (2006-2019). At the University of Iowa, he was promoted to Full Professor in 2012 and conferred an Endowed Chair in 2014. He joined UNSW Business School under the SHARP (Strategic Hires and Retention Pathways) scheme in July 2017.

His expertise centres on extreme value theory for insurance, finance, and risk management. Recently, he has been working on various topics from the interdisciplinary field of insurance, finance, applied probability, and operations research. These topics include:

  • Modeling, measuring, and managing catastrophe risks,
  • Systemic risk and financial networks,
  • Pricing in incomplete markets,
  • Portfolio theory under model uncertainty, and
  • Climate change and insurance.

He has published over 100 papers resulting in an H index of 42 according to Google Scholar. He has been Principal Investigator/Lead Chief Investigator of various major external grants including 2 from ARC of Australia, 1 from NSF of US, 5 from the Society of Actuaries, and 1 from NSERC of Canada.

Currently, he is an Editor of the journal Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, and an Associate Editor of several journals including Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry, Statistics & Probability Letters, and Science China Mathematics. He is an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.


My Grants

This is a selected list of my recent external grants:

  • 2022-2024: Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project, Lead Chief Investigator (with Chief Investigators Han Li and Katja Ignatieva and Partner Investigator Henry Lam), AUD 378,292
  • 2020-2023: Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project, Lead Chief Investigator (with Chief Investigators Benjamin Avanzi and Bernard Wong and Partner Investigator Jose Blanchet), AUD 310,000
  • 2018-2021: Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) Research Grant, the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Principal Investigator (with other Principal Investigators Kung-Sik Chan, Yiqing Chen, Ambrose Lo, and Elias Shiu), USD 228,000
  • 2014-2017: The National Science Foundation (NSF), Principal Investigator for the subcontract of the University of Iowa (with other Principal Investigators Jose Blanchet of Columbia University and Henry Lam of the University of Michigan), USD 349,874
  • 2014-2017: The Society of Actuaries (SOA), Principal Investigator (with other Principal Investigators Jose Blanchet of Columbia University, Henry Lam of the University of Michigan, and Zhongyi Yuan of the Pennsylvania State University), USD 80,403
  • 2013-2016: Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) Research Grant, the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Principal Investigator (with other Principal Investigators Elias Shiu , N.D. Shyamalkumar, and Ambrose Lo), USD 244,104.02

My Qualifications

PhD in statistics, 2001, from the University of Science and Technology of China


My Awards

2018-: Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI)
2014-2019: F. Wendell Miller Endowed Chair, University of Iowa
2014-2015: Career Development Award, University of Iowa


My Research Activities

We live in a rapidly changing, wicked world full of shock risk and complexity, which drive the degree of unpredictability. Climate change introduces many more complexity layers, and so does the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The insurance industry is significantly affected by this changing environment, but insurance can also play a proactive role in providing sustainable solutions. The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative has launched Principles for Sustainable Insurance. Actuaries are in an ideal position, in collaboration with insurance partners, to develop actuarial solutions to newly emerging threats in this changing environment.

My expertise centers on extreme value theory for insurance, finance, and quantitative risk management. With motivations outlined above, I have been working on various topics from the interdisciplinary field of insurance, finance, probability, and operations research. These topics include:

(1) Modeling, measuring, and managing catastrophe risks

Recent decades were characterized by an unprecedented surge in the frequency and severity of catastrophes, either natural or man-made, many of which wrought havoc on the environment, economy, and society on a large scale despite their low likelihood of happening. This research endeavors to establish a robust approach to modeling, measuring, and managing a wide variety of catastrophe risks.

(2) Systemic risk and financial networks

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, systemic risk describes the risk that the inability of one participant to meet its obligations in a system will cause other participants to be unable to meet their obligations, potentially with spillover effects threatening the stability of or confidence in the financial system. The network among the participants may either help reduce the systemic risk thanks to diversification effect or create a channel for propagation of the systemic risk. This research focuses on such an intriguing non-monotonic effect of the network integration.

(3) Pricing in incomplete markets

Contemporary financial instruments such as catastrophe bonds and insurance-linked securities often contain both tradable and non-tradable components. Issues such as friction and illiquidity violate the basic arbitrage-free assumption and revoke the validity of using arbitrage pricing theory for such a market. This research aims to develop economically sound pricing frameworks from the perspectives of utility theory, robust optimization, and quantitative risk management.

(4) Portfolio theory under model uncertainty

Decision makers resort to models and calibration procedures that capture stylized features based on experience or expert knowledge but often bear the risk of deviating too much from reality. To tackle such a model uncertainty issue, currently prevailing distributionally robust optimization (DRO) techniques often produce over-conservative solutions. This research aims to quantify the impact of model uncertainty and develop DRO techniques under partial uncertainty. The study has roots in economics, operations research, and statistics.

(5) Climate change and insurance

The changing environment is significantly altering the financial landscape of the insurance industry, while a dominating driving force for this is climate change. The economic consequences of climate change propagate through physical, social, and financial channels, constituting a rapidly changing and highly uncertain external environment for the insurance industry. This project first considers quantifying the impacts of climate change on insurance and then proposes an insurance approach to mitigating climate change risk.


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Recently, I have been working on various topics from the interdisciplinary field of insurance, finance, probability, and operations research. See the "My Research Activities" section for the topics that I am currently interested in. I usually integrate my research on such topics with my supervision of HDRs. We often carry out research at a somewhat technical level.

Any students interested in one of these topics or any topic from the interdisciplinary field of insurance, finance, probability, and operations research are welcome to contact me. Ideal candidates are expected to be enthusiastic about scientific research, have a strong math background and good computer skills. Research assistant positions are available.

I have graduated over 10 doctoral students, who are now working in either academia or industry around the world.  Here is a selected list:

  • Zhiwei Tong, PhD thesis entitled "Portfolio Risk Analysis: Aggregation and Allocation," completed in July 2021, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Bernard Wong, School of Risk and Actuarial Studies, UNSW Sydney [Now: Assistant Professor (tenure-track) of Actuarial Science, University of Iowa, United States]
  • Fabio Gómez, PhD thesis entitled "Quantitative Risk Management under the Interplay of Insurance and Financial Risks," completed in February 2020, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Jaime Alberto Londoño, Department of Mathematics, National University of Colombia in Bogotá [Now: Assistant Professor (tenure-track), Universidad del Rosario, Colombia]
  • Haibo Liu, PhD thesis entitled "Pricing, Bankruptcy, and Liquidation under Insurance and Financial Risks in a Markovian Framework," completed in July 2019, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Ambrose Lo, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Iowa [Now: Assistant Professor (tenure-track) of Actuarial Science, Purdue University, United States]
  • Zhaofeng Tang, PhD thesis entitled "Quantitative Risk Management under Systematic and Systemic Risks," completed in July 2019, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Ambrose Lo, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Iowa [Now: Senior Analyst, Standard & Poor's Global Ratings, Chicago, United States]
  • Fan Yang, PhD thesis entitled "Asymptotics for Risk Measures of Extreme Risks," completed in July 2013, primary supervisor, Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences Program, University of Iowa [Now: Assistant Professor (tenure-track) of Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Canada]
  • Zhongyi Yuan, PhD thesis entitled "Quantitative Analysis of Extreme Risks in Insurance and Finance," completed in May 2013, primary supervisor, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Iowa [Now: Associate Professor of Risk Management, Pennsylvania State University, United States]
  • Bin Li, PhD thesis entitled "Look-back Stopping Times and Their Applications to Liquidation Risk and Exotic Options," completed in May 2013, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Lihe Wang, Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences Program, University of Iowa [Now: Associate Professor of Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Canada]
  • Xuemiao Hao, PhD thesis entitled "Asymptotic Tail Probabilities of Risk Processes in Insurance and Finance," completed in July 2009, primary supervisor, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Iowa [Now: Associate Professor of Actuarial Science, University of Manitoba, Canada]
  • Bangwon Ko, PhD thesis entitled "On Sums of Dependent Heavy-tailed Random Variables and Valuation of Equity-linked Insurance Products," completed in May 2008, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Elias Shiu, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Iowa [Now: Professor of Actuarial Science, Soongsil University, South Korea]

Currently supervising

Current PhD students

  • Yuxin Fang, 2022--, primary supervisor, with co-supervisors Bernard Wong and Andy Pitman
  • Zhen Dong Chen, 2022--, primary supervisor, with co-supervisors Yang Shen and Peiman Asadi
  • Yuhao Liu, 2021--, primary supervisor, with co-supervisors Jinxia Zhu and Haibo Liu
  • Yunshen Yang, 2019--, primary supervisor, with co-supervisors Bernard Wong and Benjamin Avanzi [under Scientia PhD Scholarship]

Current Honours students

  • William Chaffers-Welsh, primary supervisor, with co-supervisor Zhiwei Tong

My Teaching

Since I joined UNSW in July 2017, I have been teaching the following courses:

  • ACTL6105 Advanced Research Topics in Actuarial Studies, 2021 Term 3
  • ACTL3162/ACTL5106 General Insurance Techniques/Insurance Risk Models, 2020 Term 3, 2021 Term 3
  • ACTL4301/5301 Models for Risk Management, 2018 Semester 1, 2019 Term 2, 2020 Term 2

During my appointment at the University of Iowa (2006-2019), I had taught essentially all courses in actuarial science and at all levels.

 

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Location

Contact

61-2-9065-8256
61-2-9385-1883