Rules


1. General Provisions

1.       The rules noted herein are subject to change and may, from time to time, be updated by the MTFC management. All updates shall be announced publicly on the MTFC website and through the MTFC email newsletter.

2.       It is the responsibility of participants to ensure their understanding of and compliance with the MTFC rules.

3.       Questions about the MTFC rules should be sent to: challenge@mtfchallenge.org

4.       Responses to questions about the MTFC rules shall be made public on the FAQ page of the MTFC website.

5.       The MTFC management shall not provide responses to questions that are specific to the team’s project.

6.       Failure to adhere to the rules noted herein shall be cause for disqualification from the Modeling the future Challenge. Determination of disqualification shall be at the sole discretion of the MTFC management. Any decision of disqualification is final.


2. Eligibility

1.       Age: students must be no younger than 13 year old and no older than 19 years old by August 2nd , 2021.

2.       Country: students must be United States citizens or green card holders, attending high school in the United States during the 2021-22 academic year.

3.       Mathematical Background: students must have taken or be taking at least one of the following junior or senior level mathematics courses at the time of registration for the Modeling the Future Challenge (MTFC): statistics, calculus, pre-calculus, probability, mathematical modeling, or another junior or senior level mathematics course covering similar material.

4.       Grades: students must be junior or senior level students. Some special exceptions will be made for sophomore level students taking advanced junior or senior level mathematics classes. Petitions for sophomore level students to be eligible to participate can be made under the following process:

a.        The student’s teacher or parent must contact MTFC via email at: challenge@mtfchallenge.org indicating the student’s interest in participating.

b.        The student’s teacher or parent must submit evidence and confirm that the student has taken appropriate junior or senior level mathematics courses.

c.        If approved the student and teacher/parent will receive an acceptance notification via email for participation in the MTFC.

5.       Educational Organizations: students may be in any type of schooling; formal, informal, home-schooled, etc.

6.       Student Team Limitation: students may be on no more than one team.

7.       Team Members: teams may include between one to five students.

8.       Adult Coach: each team must have an adult “coach” noted on the submission.

9.       Coach age: coaches can be any adult, 18+ years old.

10.  Limitations on the number of teams per coach: there are no limitations on the number of teams a coach may support.

11.  Limitations on the number of teams per organization: organizations may submit as many teams as they like so long as the teams adhere to all rules and regulations herein. There is no limitation on the number of teams in the MTFC from any organization.

12.  Past Participant Limitations: Students who have participated in past years of the MTFC may participate again under the following stipulations:

a.        Teams may not use the same Project Topic, or a significantly similar Project Topic as was used in a prior year. Definition of what constitutes a significantly similar project topic is up to the determination of the MTFC Judging Committee.

b.        Students who won 1st place in a previous year are not eligible to win another award.


3. Registrations

1.       User registration: all student participants and team coaches shall register as users on the Institute of Competition Sciences (ICS) online platform. Participants must have a user account in order to officially register a team for the MTFC.

2.       Team Registration: to compete for the MTFC, a team must be registered on the ICS platform. Team registration can be completed by a student Team Member or by the Team Coach. The user that creates the team shall become the Team Administrator with capabilities to add or remove other team members.

3.       Team Members: all students participating on a team shall be added as Team Members by the Team Administrator. Team Members shall have capabilities to upload, edit, or remove team submissions.

4.       Team Coach: all participating teams must have a team coach registered as a user on the ICS platform.


4. Submissions

1.       General Requirements

    1. All submissions must be the work of the student team members.

    2. A team’s coach or other adult mentors may provide guidance to the team; however, they may not make excessive contributions to the project submissions. Excessive contributions are defined as:

      1. Writing or editing any sections of the team’s project report

      2. Creating any charts or figures for the team’s project report

      3. Directing team members on specific content to include in their project report.

    3. Submissions may not plagiarize material from any other sources. All facts, figures, charts, or other information used must be cited.

    4. All submission requirements shall be submitted electronically through the Institute of Competition Sciences’ (ICS) online platform.

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2.        Qualifying Scenario Phase

    1. Teams will be presented with one or more scenario including: (1) background information on the scenario, (2) a dataset, and (3) a series of questions.

    2. Teams are required to submit responses to one scenario, but may choose to respond to multiple scenarios if desired.

      1. In the event a team submits more than one scenario response, they only need to achieve a qualifying score on any one of their responses.

    3. Complete Scenario Phase submissions shall include:

      1. Scenario Response: a document (pdf or MS Word format) that includes the team’s response to the questions in one of the presented scenario topics.

      2. Project Proposal: a one page document including four sections: (1) Problem Statement, (2) Data Sources Summary, (3) Mathematical Modeling Summary, and (4) Risk Mitigation Concepts. Additional details on the Project Proposal shall be provided by the MTFC management on the MTFC website.

    4. Teams shall submit only one Project Proposal.

    5. The Project Proposal and Scenario Response shall be submitted by the submission deadline noted on the MTFC website. No late submissions will be allowed.

 

3.        Project Phase

    1. The MTFC Project Phase is an “Open Theme” meaning that teams are allowed to define their own project topic rather than responding to a prompt provided by the MTFC management.

    2. A team’s project topic shall be defined by the team.

    3. A team’s project topic is not restricted to the team’s Project Proposal submitted during the Scenario Phase.

    4. A team may change or update their project topic at any time throughout the Project Phase.

    5. Complete Project Phase submissions include:

      1. Project Report: a single document in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.

    6. Project reports shall adhere to the following formatting guidelines:

      1. No less than a 10 point font shall be used on all text.

      2. No less than a 0.75 inch margin shall be used on all pages.

    7. Project reports must be submitted by the 2021-22 MTFC Project Phase deadline noted on the MTFC website. No late submissions will be allowed.

    8. Project reports must be no more than 25 pages long and must include the following sections:

      1. Title Page (NOT included in the page count)

      2. Executive Summary

      3. Background Information

      4. Data Methodology

      5. Mathematics Methodology

      6. Risk Analysis

      7. Recommendations

      8. References Cited (NOT included in the page count)

      9. Appendices (NOT included in the page count): all appendices are optional and are not required to be included. Appendices should adhere to the following stipulations:

        • Code used in mathematical models is eligible to be included in an appendix.

        • Data sets used are eligible to be included in an appendix.

        • Charts and figures are NOT eligible to be included in an appendix, but should be included inline within the body of your report.

    9. Additional detail on the Project Report structure shall be provided on the MTFC website.

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4.        Finalist Phase

    1. Teams shall submit an updated Project Report following the same guidelines for the Project Report for the Project Phase noted herein.

    2. Teams shall submit a recorded video presentation of their projects. Presentations shall adhere to these guidelines:

      1. Be no more than 15 minutes in length

      2. Be uploaded to a publicly accessible video sharing service such as Youtube or Vimeo with a link to the video shared via the team’s page on the ICS platform.

    3. Recorded video presentations and updated Project Reports shall be submitted by the finalist phase deadlines noted on the MTFC website. No late submissions shall be allowed.

    4. Teams shall participate virtually in all components of the MTFC Symposium including:

      1. Opening Ceremonies & Activities

      2. Judging Session

      3. Closing Ceremonies

    5. Teams shall be provided with a virtual question and answer session during the MTFC Symposium to respond to questions from the judging committee about their Project Report.


5. Adjudication

  1. Scenario Phase

    1. Scenario responses shall be scored based on the number of correct answers to the questions posed in the scenario.

    2. Acceptable responses to all scenario response questions shall be defined in the MTFC scoring rubric.

    3. Teams scoring a minimum of 60% correct answers on the scenario topic submitted shall be qualified for the MTFC Project Phase and shall be recognized by the MTFC management as “Semi-Finalists.”

    4. All teams that pass the scenario phase with a qualifying score will be announced as MTFC Semi-Finalists and shall be invited to the Project Phase of the Challenge.

  2. Project Phase

    1. Project evaluation is conducted by a committee of actuaries following a scoring rubric.

    2. The evaluation criteria included in the scoring rubric shall be provided to teams on the MTFC website.

    3. All teams completing a Project Report will receive an evaluation report detailing information from their scores and feedback.

    4. Top scoring teams shall be recognized as MTFC Finalists and invited to the MTFC Symposium to compete for the scholarship awards.

    5. The number of Finalist Teams recognized may vary from year to year and is up to the determination of the Judging Committee.

    6. Evaluation of the Judging Committee is final.

  3. Finalist Phase

    1. Finalist project evaluation includes the following three components:

      1. Project Report

      2. Project Presentation

      3. Judging Question and Answer Session

    2. Judging for the finalist phase of the MTFC shall be conducted by a panel of actuaries and other expert evaluators.

    3. Finalist team adjudication shall be conducted using a scoring rubric including evaluation criteria for each of the three components of the finalist project (Project Report, Presentation, and Q&A Session).

    4. Evaluation criteria included in the finalist scoring rubric shall be provided to teams on the MTFC website.

    5. Evaluation of the Judging Committee is final.

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6. Awards

  1. The MTFC provides the following awards:

    1. Scenario Phase:

      1. Semi-Finalist Recognition: all teams passing the scenario phase are recognized publicly as Modeling the Future Challenge “Semi-Finalists.”

      2. Recognition of Completion Certificates: all teams completing a scenario phase submission shall receive electronic recognition for their efforts in conducting a Modeling the Future Challenge project.

      3. Semi-Finalist Recognition Certificates: all teams recognized as Semi-Finalists shall be provided electronic recognition certificates.

    2. Project Phase:

      1. Mentorship: All Semi-Finalist teams are matched with an MTFC mentor who shall help guide the team through a defined mentorship process. The mentorship process shall be shared with teams on the MTFC website or through the MTFC Project Guide.

      2. Recognition of Completion Certificates: all teams completing a full Project Report submission shall receive electronic recognition certificates for their efforts in conducting a Modeling the Future Challenge project.

      3. Finalist Recognition: top scoring teams shall be recognized as Modeling the Future Challenge “Finalists” and shall be invited to participate in the MTFC Symposium to compete for scholarship awards.

      4. Finalist Recognition Certificates: all teams recognized as “Finalists” shall be provided printed recognition certificates mailed to the team members.

    3. Finalist Phase:

      1. Scholarship awards:

        1. 1st Place: $25,000

        2. 2nd Place: $15,000

        3. 3rd Place: $10,000

        4. 4th Place: $5,000

      2. Certificates of Recognition: all teams winning a scholarship award shall be provided with mailed certificates of recognition.

      3. Special awards:

        1. ARCH Paper publications: the 1st and 2nd place award winners shall be submitted to the Actuarial Research Clearing House (ARCH) for online publication.

        2. School Support Award: the school with the most Semi-Finalist teams shall receive a $1000 grant to support their mathematics education programs. The award shall be paid directly to the receiving school or organization.

        3. Educator Awards: Coaches of scholarship award winners shall each receive a $1000 stipend paid directly to the coach.

  2. Scholarship awards shall be paid as university tuition scholarships paid directly to the winning students’ schools.

  3. Scholarship awards shall only be paid to colleges or universities in the United States. If a student wins an award and chooses to attend college outside of the United States they will void their scholarship award.

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7. Code of Conduct

All MTFC participants are held to high personal ethical standards. We expect all participants to treat others with respect and courtesy. Participants should be considerate of the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of others.

The decisions you make and actions you conduct during your participation in the competition should be honest and truthful to the best of your ability and should refrain from disparaging other participants in any way. We trust that you will not conduct yourself in a matter that tampers with the outcomes, fabricates submissions, or plagiarize content. If at any point you are unsure about the ethical conduct of your team, please reach out to the MTFC management for clarification. Failure to abide by the MTFC Code of Conduct may result in the team’s disqualification from the challenge.

All MTFC participants shall adhere to the following codes of conduct:

  1. Sportsmanship: participants shall not make disparaging remarks about other participants of the MTFC or their work. Participants are expected to conduct themselves according to the following rules of good sportsmanship:
    1. Treat other participants, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers with respect, regardless of race, sex, creed, ability or any other factor.
    2. Encourage good sportsmanship in all participants and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all. Provide positive support and encouragement to team members, and other teams alike.
    3. Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about another team’s project or participants.
    4. Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about individuals supporting the MTFC including but not limited to: personnel, staff, mentors, judges, and volunteers. Recognize that all supporters of the MTFC are conducting themselves so as to organize and manage the best academic challenge possible. If you have a concern with the manner in which the MTFC is conducted, follow the petition process mentioned below to bring up a specific concern.
    5. Be courteous to opposing teams, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers at all times.
    6. Recognize that judges are donating their time and are doing their best to make unbiased, fair and timely decisions.
    7. Accept the decisions of judges as final, and with good grace. If you have a specific concern with how the judging process was conducted you may bring it up with the MTFC staff following the petition process mentioned below.
  1. Harassment: the MTFC does not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Harassment can be on many types of media. It can be in-person or through virtual and online channels. Forms of harassment include but are not limited to: verbal comments, printed or written messages, and electronic messages. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Offensive comments related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion
    2. Deliberate intimidation
    3. Stalking
    4. Unwanted photography or recording
    5. Inappropriate physical contact
    6. Unwelcome sexual attention
    7. Sexual imagery and language in public spaces.
  1. Plagiarism: participants shall not plagiarize materials of any kind in their work for the MTFC. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of another’s words or ideas as if they are one’s own. Plagiarism and any kind of academic cheating are grounds for dismissal from the competition.


8. Petitions

  1. Petition requirements: petitions to the MTFC management shall be considered under the following conditions:
    1. Petitions for adjudication concerns:
      1. Shall be considered prior to the judging period for conflict of interests between a judge and a team. Conflict of interest petitions shall NOT be considered during or after the judging period.
      2. Shall NOT be considered for a change in a team’s score at any time. Review of the judges is final.
    2. Petitions for deadline or milestone extensions:
      1. Shall be considered if incorrect information about the date or time of the deadline requirement was shared with the team and caused the team to miss the deadline or milestone. In order for this petition to be considered, the team must demonstrate specific evidence where the date or time of the deadline was shared incorrectly to the team.
      2. Shall be considered if a system malfunction on the MTFC or ICS platform caused the team to not be able to meet the deadline or milestone. A technical error on the team’s side is not cause for consideration of a petition.
      3. Shall NOT be considered due to a misunderstanding of the rules or other information about the MTFC. It is the team’s responsibility to ensure they understand all rules and requirements for the competition. If a team is unsure about a particular rule or requirement for the competition, the team has the right to contact the MTFC management to request clarification.
    3. Petitions for clarification of information:
      1. Shall be considered at any time if made to the MTFC management team through the MTFC website or email communications to challenge@mtfchallenge.org. We cannot guarantee receipt of a question for clarification if not made through one of these channels.
      2. Shall be considered for clarification of publicly available information about the MTFC including but not limited to: rules, submission requirements, deadlines, or resources available.
      3. Shall NOT be considered if the question is specific to a team’s project, or asking for information relevant to their team alone.
      4. Shall be made public on the MTFC website’s FAQ page, the MTFC does not provide responses specific to one team.
    4. For code of conduct concerns:
      1. Shall be considered at any time.
      2. Shall be considered if the offended party demonstrates specific evidence of a breach of the MTFC’s Code of Conduct.
  1. Petition review process:
    1. All petitions shall be reviewed by the MTFC management for adherence to the regulations noted herein.
    2. If a petition meets the regulations for review, the petition shall be reviewed by a minimum of three people including but not limited to: (1) a representative from the Institute of Competition Sciences, (2) a representative from The Actuarial Foundation, and (3) a representative from the Challenge Development Committee.
    3. Upon completion of review of the petition, a representative of the MTFC shall contact the petitioner with one of three determinations: (1) the petition is accepted, (2) the petition is rejected, or (3) the petition requires additional information.
    4. In some extreme instances, such as a breach of the MTFC Code of Conduct where laws are broken, petitions to the MTFC may go beyond what is noted in this petition review process. The MTFC management, Institute of Competition Sciences, and The Actuarial Foundation shall cooperate fully with the legal investigation of the matter.
    5. Petitions shall only be reviewed once. Petitioners shall accept the response of the review. There shall be no appeals process after the petition.
  1. Petition Results: petitions to the MTFC may result in the following actions.
    1. If the petition is rejected: the petitioner will be contacted by the MTFC including a reason for the petitions rejection.
    2. If the petition requires additional information: the petitioner shall have the opportunity to send new information for further review. After receiving any additional information, the MTFC shall contact the petition with either an accepted or rejected determination.
    3. If the petition is accepted:
      1. In the event that the petition is for a conflict of interest in adjudication, the subject of the conflict of interest (the judging committee member) shall be removed from the committee.
      2. In the event that the petition is for a deadline or milestone extension, the team requesting the extension shall be provided a new deadline date for them to meet the appropriate requirements.
      3. In the event of a petition for clarification of information, the response to the petition shall be made public on the MTFC website’s FAQs page.
      4. In the event of a petition for a breach in the MTFC Code of Conduct there shall be two potential responses:
        1. In the event of a minor infraction, the offending party shall be contacted by an MTFC representative and given a warning that they must abide by the MTFC Code of Conduct. If the offending party conducts a second breach of the MTFC Code of Conduct, the offending party shall be removed from all MTFC activities. If the offending party is a member of a team, the team shall have the option of removing the offending party from the team, or having the team removed from the MTFC.
        2. In the event of a major infraction, the offending party shall be contacted by an MTFC representative and immediately removed from all MTFC activities. If the offending party is a member of a team, the team shall have the option of removing the offending party from the team, or having the team removed from the MTFC. All breaches of the MTFC Code of Conduct involving the breaking of any laws shall be considered a major infraction and may be elevated to the appropriate authorities as required under local, state, or federal law.
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