Thursday, September 22, 2011
Actuarial Intern Writes Super Macro
A typical summer exercise took quite a turn for an actuarial intern who will remain anonymous.
The task was to create a tool that would consolidate output from thousands of scenarios into an easy to interpret summary sheet.
The intern searched Google for VBA language, and was soon closing in on the project’s objective. Then something curious happened.“I was running the macro one morning, and went to check my email while it ran. That’s when I noticed that I no longer had any unread messages,” explained the intern, “also, emails I was meaning to reply to, were answered. I know I didn’t write those responses. At first I thought someone was playing a trick on me.”
It was no trick. As the macro kept running, a new message alert appeared on the intern’s screen. The message box was closed, the email opened, and a reply written, all in mere seconds.
He checked with his manager to see if it was a computer issue.“It’s quite remarkable, actually. I ran it and suddenly I get an email receipt from Amazon.com. Turns out the macro finished my Christmas shopping for me, and bought flowers for my anniversary.”
The macro was able to make dinner reservations, bet against spreads in football games and traded stocks.
Yet, this super macro’s life was short lived. An automatic restart forced his computer to shutdown. The intern realized that he forgot to save his work, and the ‘Auto save’ happened too early.
“It was fun while it lasted,” he concluded, “although if it did all my work for me, I’d probably be out of a job.”