Frequently Asked Questions

Background and Logistics Questions

The Modeling The Future Challenge (MTF) is a new academic challenge hosted by The Actuarial Foundation (TAF) with design and operations support from The Institute of Competition Sciences. The premise is simple. Each year a technology topic area is selected and students are challenged to develop and present their own mathematical models describing how they envision the new technology or industry will change the future.

High school students in the United States who are taking junior or senior level mathematics classes such as statistics, probability, pre-calc, calculus or other similar high-level math classes are eligible.

Submissions can be the work of one to five students.

Teams must respond to a qualifying scenario during the qualifying period of the competition (see the timeline for specific dates). The scenario includes a real-world data-set and four levels of questions: (1) basic statistics and probability, (2) projecting trends, (3) risk analysis, and (4) critical thinking recommendations.

Teams qualified for the MTFC Challenge must submit a Project Report by the end of the Project Phase of the competition. The written report should describe their mathematical models they created to analyze the data and project future trends. See the “Project Process” page for more detail on what goes into your report.

First make sure you’re signed up to receive updates through our email newsletter. When the qualification period opens, team registration will also be open. Registration is conducted through the Institute of Competition Sciences’ management platform. When the registration period opens click the register link on the top menu of this site to find more information about setting up your team.

Reports are also submitted through the Institute of Competition Sciences’ management platform. On your team page on the dashboard of the ICS site, you will see a link to upload your qualifying scenario response during the Qualifying Phase. After your team qualifies, you will see a link to upload your report during the Project Phase.

The Actuarial Foundation provides financial support to make the MTFC absolutely free to all participants. The foundation is supported by generous sponsors and donors to help make this happen. Please check out our sponsor information on the About page of this website.

With $55,000 in college scholarships from The Actuarial Foundation, the MTFC is one of the largest mathematics challenges available to students. In addition to the prize purse, students selected as finalists will be brought to the Modeling the Future Symposium where they will have one-of-a-kind experiences to meet and learn from actuarial professionals about the career opportunities and benefits of being an actuary. Airfare and lodging will be provided to all students and one coach for each finalist team.

Team coaches can also earn awards through the Educator Coach Awards. The coaches of the top 4 teams will each earn a $1,000 grant.

Every submission needs an official adult “coach” to help guide students through the process and access Modeling the Future Mentors and other resources. Your coach can be any adult 18+ years old. It could be your parent, after-school club leader, teacher or any other adult adviser. Your team does not need to be registered through your school, but you may find that your teacher is interested in coaching your team along with others from the school.

There are several milestones that teams must hit throughout the MTFC phases. Visit the Timeline page under the How it Works section of this website to view all of the deadlines for your team.

In the first year of the MTFC there were 52 submissions. By the second year the challenge had grown to 191 submissions. We never know exactly how many to expect, but you can use the past two years of the competition to estimate the number.

By participating in the MTF Challenge you will gain an experience that opens new perspectives, technologies and opportunities. You will be learning about one of the most innovative technologies of our time, have a chance to learn valuable skills that could lead to great new college and career opportunities for you. You will also learn about what it would be like if you were an actuary and why being an actuary can be a great career option for all kinds of students. Even becoming recognized as a semi-finalist or finalist can go a long way towards providing future college and career opportunities. Pursuing mathematical college majors and careers can give students and edge in terms of job availability, satisfaction, and salaries! The Modeling the Future Challenge scholarships can help with tuition costs. And on top of all of that, you will have the shot at $55,000 in college scholarships!

Actuaries use math, analytical skills, business knowledge and human behavior to manage some of the complex risks facing businesses and our society. For more information on the actuarial profession, please visit www.beanactuary.org

Have another question you would like to ask about the challenge topic or content? Email us at: challenge@mtfchallenge.org