Are you up for the challenge of actuarial work?
High school students competing for scholarships in the Project Math Minds Contest will be
introduced to common insurance concepts and work on a long-term project using Actuarial Mathematics.
The 2014 Project Math Minds Assignment
"The purpose of this Project Math Minds assignment is to introduce
the student to the basic math of debt, interest rates, and economics. This example in the assignment is centered on
paying for college.
A college degree can open many opportunities for anyone up for the challenge, but it is expensive. The Federal
Government gives billions of dollars in financial aid in the form of subsidized loans and grants. The primary goal of
this Project Math Minds project is to develop an estimate of the cost of going to college and the financial return
after leaving college." - Taken from AF website
For project details and guidelines, go to
Project Math Minds on the Actuarial Foundation's website.
Comments from Michael A. Castellani, sponsor of the Seoul International School Chapter of Mu Alpha Theta:
"I’m writing to you to share an experience I provided my students and thought you would find this of value.
Last year, I used The Actuarial Foundation’s Project Math Minds opportunity in an AP Statistics course as a
supplemental assignment to help strengthen student understanding of key concepts, give students a real life
scenario and to allow them to see the practical applications and context of real math problems.
The project was assigned to students around 2/3 of the way into the course, where students had already learned the
basic and advanced principals of regression, completed probability & expected values/outcomes and been introduced to
inference (confidence intervals and significance testing). The students had to determine the most appropriate methods
to approach the problem and develop ways to compensate for the inherent flaws and missing information the assignment
provided (as in real life). Some approached this by researching information, some opened up to various alternative
key points (like impact of global warning or possible relationships of causes of incidents) and some students
considered even greater areas not focused on in AP statistics, but all students used it as an opportunity to concentrate
on their own approach to statistics as a course and to review & read ahead in preparation for the AP exam itself!
On top of everything they learned, one of my students won a $2,500 scholarship awarded via the Project Math Minds program.
I encourage you to take a look at The Actuarial Foundation’s Project Math Minds opportunity and have your students try it in
your AP Stats course. Learning real world, high level math problems is an invaluable tool for our AP Stats students."
- First Place: Bianca Papa from West Forsyth HS in Cumming, GA won a $5,000 award.
- First Place: Pushkar Aggarwal from Poolesville HS in Poolesville, MD won a $5,000 award.
- Second Place: Murali Subramanian & Alec Doederlein from the School of Science & Engineering Magnet in Dallas, TX
each won a $3,000 award.
- Third Place: Amy Glaskova from Shorecrest HS in Shoreline, WA & Sein Oh from the School of Science and Engineering
Magnet in Dallas, TX each won a $2,000 award.
- Pushkar Aggarwal from Poolesville High School in Poolesville, MD won a $5,000 award.
- Alex Sher from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, NY won a $4,000 award to Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore.
- Alex Houck from Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN won a $5,000 scholarship to the
University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
- Lucia Minah Yang from the Seoul International School in Seoul, Korea won a $2,500 scholarship.