The Actuarial Tourist
Washington, D.C. is a wonderful place to visit and explore. There are so many iconic sites, museums, and monuments in Washington D.C. that it's impossible to visit them all in one visit.
To help you prioritize your touring to-do list, we’ve gathered some recommendations for attractions to visit from actuaries that live around Washington, D.C.
Suggested by Pete Rossi FSA, CERA , FCA, MAAA:
"As a DC-area resident for the last 10 years or so, I'd say everything DC has to offer is interesting for anyone regardless of profession. There's history and untold stories on every street.
My personal favorite is the Museum of Natural History. Evaluating your place in Earth's history always seems to give additional perspective on life. The exhibits are interesting and fun on the surface, but offer an important actuarial perspective -- to take a step back and examine your work in context. Far too often actuaries get caught up in the weeds and fall to see the big picture. There is nothing like being in the same room as a T-Rex."
Suggested by Aquil Ahmed, ASA, EA, FCA, MAAA:
"The 90 minutes Duck Tour of Washington DC is very attractive and begins in the heart of the capital and winds its way down Pennsylvania Avenue. As you journey past our country’s most famous monuments and museums, your knowledgeable Captain will entertain and enlighten you with interesting facts and historical accounts of people and events that helped shape our nation. You’ll also be treated to original sound bites from the World War II era, including music, newscasts and speeches by some of our past leaders, including FDR and more.
Then, get ready for a true thrill as the Duck leaves the streets, splashes down into the Potomac River and becomes a boat! You’ll cruise along the river as your Captain highlights more of what makes DC famous, and the views from the Potomac River are very special indeed."
Suggested by Alison Northup, ASA, MAAA:
"I enjoyed visiting the National Portrait Gallery in DC. Admission is free, the portraits are beautiful, and you can learn a lot about important people - some of whom you've heard of before and some of whom you haven't. So it is a little art plus a little history in one."
Suggested by Alex Granovsky FSA MAAA:
"Everyone has heard of the first computer at Bletchley Park deciphering Germany’s Enigma code. But fewer people remember that some of these British code-breakers were or later became Soviet spies (Kim Philby of the Magnificent Five). Many of the artifacts and exhibits are dedicated to the Cold War era. I was born in Moscow, so this part was of particular interest."
Suggested by Mark Seliber FSA MAAA:
"One relatively new and fascinating attraction is the Newseum, on Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capital building and the White House. It has several floors of exhibits on newspapers, magazines and TV, many small theatres showing footage of well-known coverage and news reports and one large multi-media exhibit that shows visual highlights of the history of the United States for the last 50 years or so. I stayed there for about 3 hours and could have remained much longer."
Suggested by Ken Frohlich ASA FCAS:
"Although it’s not actuarial or mathematical, the Library of Congress is really impressive. The tour is entertaining and the inside of the building is the most beautiful I have ever been in; and I have traveled the world. I would also recommend a routine tour of the Capitol Building, which is located across for the Library of Congress."
Suggested by Edwin Hustead FSA MAAA and Toni Hustead ASA:
"My wife and I really enjoy visiting the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial (FDR) and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. They are right next to each other and both offer large and impressive views of the men and spirit that they memorialize, as well as nature and the beauty of the tidal basin; especially when the Cherry trees are in full bloom."