The Actuarial Foundation is delighted to announce the winning teams of the 2022-2023 Modeling the Future Challenge, a national scholarship competition where high school students take on the role of an actuary using models to predict future risk and help to solve world problems. Now in its sixth year, the Challenge was developed with our partner, the Institute of Competition Sciences. The winning teams were announced at the Virtual Symposium, a unique three-day experience immersing students in career sessions with actuaries and presentations from college students and industry experts as well as engaging group activities created in partnership with our generous corporate supporters and volunteers. Selected from a total of 227 teams of high school juniors and seniors from across the country, 53 students making up 13 teams qualified to present at the Symposium.
The 2022-2023 Challenge was once again an open-theme, allowing students to choose which topics they wanted to tackle for their research projects. Topics ranged from space junk to recidivism in prisons to climate’s effects on soil salinity. The Challenge gives students access to the Actuarial Process to help them in every phase of their project. The Actuarial Process is a five-step framework, similar to the scientific method, which lays out the core structure of how to successfully identify, analyze, and manage risks. Each team was also assigned an actuary mentor to guide them during the research phase of their project.
Securing first place and winning the $25,000 scholarship award was Julia Hudson from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, for her project titled KESSYM: A stochastic orbital debris model for evaluation of Kessler Syndrome risks and mitigations. Coming in second place and winning the $15,000 scholarship award were Amar Kanakamedala, Jeffrey Liu, Evan Wu, Henry Yu, and Lou Zhou from Memphis University School in Memphis Tennessee. Their project studied recidivism in Iowa state prisons. Clinching the third-place scholarship award of $10,000 were Abhinav Gorrepati, Shreyans Jain, Sarthak Jain, Vinay Singamsetty and Ryan Tabatabai from ESUHSD/Silver Creek High School in San Jose, California for their project focusing on the dryland salinity in Australia. Taking the fourth-place scholarship award of $5,000 were Tyler Li, Alex Lin, Kevin Shen and Alexander Wang from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois for their project studying data breaches in the healthcare sector.
One of the actuary judges for the Symposium, Steve Alpert, offered his congratulations to the students, saying it was “a great honor and privilege” to read through students’ final reports. He also relished having “really enlightening conversations” with the students as they answered judges’ questions and presented their projects. Ultimately, the goal of the Challenge is for students to learn how mathematics applies to cutting-edge industries and technologies and to gain exposure to highly sought-after careers as actuaries and other math or STEM-related professionals. As Julia Hudson, from the first-place winning team said, “The actuarial process and advice from my mentors have been incredibly transformative. I’ve learned so much to use the rest of my life in modeling and in STEM in general.” The Modeling the Future Challenge is made possible with the generous support of Pioneer Sponsor RGA Foundation, Pacesetter Sponsors Casualty Actuarial Society and Lincoln Financial Group, Builder Sponsors F&G Annuities & Life and Rick and Beth Jones, Founding Sponsors Roy & Georgia Goldman and Helen Galt Education Award Supporter Prudential.