UMF hosts National Actuarial Foundation event to connect Maine math teachers and their students with real-world research competition

FARMINGTON, ME  (July, 26, 2022)—The University of Maine at Farmington Actuarial Program recently welcomed six Maine high school math teachers to the Farmington campus for a meet and greet networking event sponsored by the national Actuarial Foundation.  Teachers from Auburn, Machias, South Portland, Ellsworth and Farmington participated.

UMF sign

The event was an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with colleagues, learn about actuarial science and how to connect in-classroom activities to the field, explore opportunities at UMF and participate in the national 2022-2023 Modeling the Future Challenge.

Dr. Lori Koban, director of UMF’s Actuarial Science program, facilitated the event.

“Historically, the MTFC program has not had any student participants from Maine.  We are going to change that this year! This challenge helps all students learn how to financially evaluate risk, which is a life skill.  It also introduces students to the actuarial profession, which is an excellent match for some students who enjoy math but do not know what career to pursue,” said Koban.

Dr. Lori Koban, director of UMF Actuarial Science program
Lori Koban

Actuaries are professional risk managers and problem solvers as conditions affect insurance, investments and other financial activities. The UMF program offers the math-minded student a well-rounded blend of math, business, economics, finance, computer science and statistics. These courses prepare students for a number of highly in-demand professions, including as a credentialed actuary, underwriter, data specialist or statistician.

UMF is one of 13 national University partners in the MTFC program, a project-based competition that invites high school math students to conduct their own research project combining math modeling, data analysis and risk management. Their recommendations are then shared with companies, industry groups, governments or organizations.

“I’m thrilled that Lori reached out to me about the actuarial science competition; the meeting was a fantastic experience. I purposely look for opportunities for my students and math team members that can motivate, engage, and stimulate their mathematical creativity, and I’m especially excited for my students because this competition could open doors to a career they may not have considered or even known about otherwise. During our meeting, Lori was very positive, knowledgeable, and engaging. I’m hoping to bring a group of my students who plan to participate in the competition to UMF so they can speak to college students who are pursuing actuarial degrees. Having an opportunity like this as nearby as UMF is an opportunity to be embraced,” said Elena Berry, Edward Little High School Mathematics Instructor and Math Team Coach.

The Challenge collaborates with universities across the United States to help high school students take the next steps in their mathematical careers. It also helps high school educators learn about actuarial science with a series of virtual summer training sessions.

Educators can participate in virtual training sessions in July or September and receive a $300 stipend and 13 professional development hours.

The MTFC is one of the largest mathematics challenges open to students with $55,000 in scholarships available from the Actuarial Foundation. For more information, visit

The Actuarial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the philanthropic organization for the actuarial industry in the United States. The Foundation promotes lifelong math education and financial literacy through its learning resources and scholarships. The Modeling the Future Challenge is managed by the Institute of Competition Sciences, a leader in the design and management of academic challenge-based-learning programs.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.


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Photo Caption: Dr. Lori Koban, director of UMF Actuarial Science program
Photo Credit: UMF Image



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