The Competition

The Modeling the Future Challenge helps high school students learn real-world data analytics, mathematical modeling, and actuarial science. By competing in the MTF Challenge students learn to analyze data and create mathematical models to predict what will happen in the future based on that data. Each year a technology theme is selected in which students identify and characterize one way they think the technology will change the future. The 2018-2019 MTF Challenge is structured into three phases of competition:


Phase 1: Scenario Response

MTF will pose a set of business scenarios with existing data (real or created), that require simple mathematical modeling tasks and written responses to answer questions about the scenario. Points will be awarded based on a strict rubric for each question. Teams that pass the bar by answering enough questions correctly, will be recognized as Modeling the Future Challenge semi-finalists, and will move on to phase 2 of the competition.


Phase 2: Preliminary Report

Semi-finalist teams will select an area in which they think the technology theme for the year (for example, the 2017 theme was “Autonomous Vehicles”) will change the future. Teams must then identify and analyze data that helps them mathematically model and characterize the expected change. Teams must submit their work in a written report that will be reviewed by a panel of actuarial fellows to select Modeling the Future Finalists.

To support semi-finalist teams in creating successful reports, each team will be paired up with an actuarial mentor who will meet with the teams for two 1-hour virtual sessions and help guide the students in coming up with their topic of change, data sets and mathematical models. The first mentor session will provide early guidance on how to identify an area of change and find appropriate data sets. The second session will provide the team with feedback on their draft report to help identify areas where they may want to strengthen their work.

Preliminary reports will be evaluated by actuarial judges to select the top teams who will be recognized as Modeling the Future Finalists. Finalists will be awarded a travel grant to present their work at the national MTF Symposium and compete for $55,000 in college scholarships.

Report must:

  • Be no more than 20 pages (not including references).
  • Include an executive Summary (1 page max)
  • Include a technology overview section (3 pages max)
  • Include a data methodology section (2 pages max)
  • Include a mathematics methodology section (4 pages max)
  • Include a results section (6 pages max)
  • Include a conclusions and recommendations Section (4 pages max)

Report should:

  • Identify the severity of the change expected.
  • Identify the timing of the change expected.
  • Identify the data used.
  • Identify the mathematical methodology.
  • Identify specific correlations between data they found that helped characterize this change.
  • Identify specific recommendations for how people, organizations, or government groups effected by this change should respond to it.


Phase 3: Final Presentations

All finalist teams will attend the Modeling the Future Symposium and present their work live in front of a panel of expert actuarial judges. Judges will review teams final reports and presentations to select the MTF Challenge’s “Actuarial Scholars” who will receive the final scholarship awards.