The Actuarial Foundation Announces the Finalists for the 2021 Modeling the Future Challenge
March 25, 2021
SCHAUMBURG, IL (March 23, 2021) – The Actuarial Foundation is proud to announce the finalists in the 2020-2021 Modeling the Future Challenge, a national scholarship competition where high school students take on the role of aspiring actuaries and present their math modeling projects to a panel of actuary judges who evaluate these projects and select four teams to win their portion of a $55,000 scholarship award. Selected from a total of 193 teams of high school juniors and seniors from across the country, 31 students making up 12 teams have qualified to present at the 2021 Modeling the Future Challenge Virtual Symposium on April 22-23rd. The finalists are: Shreyas Kar and Shraman Kar from Dupont Manual High in Louisville, Kentucky; Asmi Kumar from Milton High School in Milton, Georgia; Melina Xie and Christina Yao from Evergreen Valley High in San Jose, California; Anushka Srinivasan, Reva Tagare, and Siona Tagare from Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California; Owen Lester, Noah Braunfield, Jason Dichter and Miles Gee from Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania; Kevin Zhang and Cynthia Zhang in San Francisco, California; Ricardo Reyes Carmona from Weddington High School in Matthews, North Carolina; Gabriel Han, Einstina Wang, Won Jang and Hannah Jang from Oxford Academy in Cypress, California; Owen Koscho, William Smith, Alexander Ross and Logan Senning from iSTEM Geauga Early College High School in Painesville, Ohio; Amber He, Kiera Finlay, and Veena Sumedh from Mountain View High School in Mountain View, California; Andre Nandi, Rome Thorstenson, Kristen Si, and Elizabeth Kujawa from Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; and Jacob Rintamaki from Westlake City Schools in Westlake, Ohio.
The 2020-2021 Modeling the Future Challenge took a dynamic approach this year as compared to years prior with its open-theme, which allowed students to identify their own topics for their research projects. Teams were tasked with analyzing historic data and making models following the Actuarial Process. Of the 193 teams that registered and completed Phase 1 of the Challenge, 78 semi-finalist teams made it to Phase 2—the Project Phase. During the Project Phase, each team was matched with an actuarial mentor to provide high-level guidance on their project. Mentors met virtually with their teams three times during the project period to answer questions and help the team develop an actuarial report and presentation.
“I really like the MTFC program – it reminds of a class in college where the final “exam” was a problem statement and we had to work all weekend to write a report, gathering information, researching the data, applying physics/biology, and/other fields to math,” says Raghav Batra, Data Engineer at Munich Re and MTFC Judge during Phase 2 this year. “It was the most fun I have had and I really think programs like that and this are what children should be taught – actual, practical open-ended problems, where you can actually apply the math, not proving the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus! I think a lot of teams have also done great research and maybe realized that they can build on the simplistic models with well-researched facts and equations. A great way to learn about a lot of things and assimilate them critically – that’s what the world needs.”
Making it out of the Project Phase, the 12 finalist teams will attend the Modeling the Future Virtual Symposium to present their models of the future to a panel of actuaries for the opportunity to win up to $55,000 in scholarship awards. The Symposium, currently being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will give finalists the chance to meet with actuaries and other business leaders, learn about college and career opportunities, and have a little fun too!
The Modeling the Future Challenge is made possible with the generous support of Executive Sponsor RGA Foundation, Champion Sponsor Lincoln Financial Group, Event Sponsors FIS and Rick & Beth Jones, and Founding Sponsors Roy & Georgia Goldman.
About The Actuarial Foundation
The Actuarial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the philanthropic institution for the actuarial industry in the United States. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance math education and financial literacy through the talents and resources of actuaries. The Foundation’s vision is an educated public in pursuit of a secure financial future. Further information is available at: actuarialfoundation.org
About the Institute of Competition Sciences
Since 2012, the Institute of Competition Sciences (ICS) has been defining best practices in competition strategy, design and operations. ICS aims to spark a new level of community engagement in science, technology and education by supporting a network of educational competitions. For more information, please visit: https://www.competitionsciences.org/
The Actuarial Foundation