The “Best Resource” in the Modeling the Future Challenge

November 11, 2022
By: The Actuarial Foundation


The Modeling the Future Challenge is our math-modeling and data-analysis competition for high school students. This three-phase competition challenges high school students to make the best recommendations to companies, organizations, or government agencies based on their own mathematical modeling of future trends and risk analysis. After passing a rigorous qualifying scenario by answering a set of questions related to a real-world data-set, the qualifying teams conduct a research and analysis project about a topic of their choice. The teams compile a final report of their research. Students who qualify for the Project Phase of Competition have access to an actuarial mentor to answer questions and guide them through their research. Actuaries are also involved in the review of student reports and the selection of finalist teams. These finalist teams are then invited to compete for $60,000 in scholarships and prizes at the annual Modeling the Future Challenge Symposium.

The Supermodel-ers from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire were new to the 2021-2022 Modeling the Future Challenge competition. Their Math Coach Paul Kim shared the competition with his students thinking that the open-ended questions and opportunities for creativity would appeal to them. The Supermodel-ers went on to win first place in the 2022 Modeling the Future Challenge Symposium for their research on the number of homicides in Chicago. When asked about his team’s success and which resources provided were most helpful to his students, Kim responded, “Really, I think it was that actuary to humanize the experience. It wasn’t a collection of formulas or software that was given. It was another human to read their paper.” His students felt the same, giving high praise to their actuary mentor, Paul Heffernan, for helping them specifically with their distribution of variables by applying the 10% rule and standard deviation. “It was really interesting to see how we could apply these real-world techniques to our project,” said junior Aadit Juneja.

Be a part of this one-of-a-kind competition that introduces students to the wonderful world of actuaries and helps them solve world problems with math modeling. Support the Modeling the Future Challenge this GivingTuesday or volunteer to be the best resource for a future team!