Actuarial Science Students Named Finalists in Global Competition for Program to Reduce Carbon Emissions

By Caitlin Burns | April 13, 2020

Students presenting report via webinar platform

Four actuarial science majors, Hao Huang ’21, Shuhan Qiang ’21, Minhao Zhang ’20, and Haoran Zhu ’21, finished as finalists in an international competition organized by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). 

The annual competition, called the SOA Student Research Case Study Challenge, asked participants to apply the actuarial skills they have learned to a real-life problem. The group of four Arcadia students, advised by Dr. Weihong Ni, assistant professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, designed a carbon credit program with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. The group finished in 6th place out of 48 teams worldwide.

In the case presented by the SOA, a fictional country called “Pullanta” has hired the students as actuarial consultants and tasked them with devising a plan to achieve their goal of reducing the country’s carbon emissions to 25 percent below their 2018 levels by the end of the year 2030. The Arcadia team presented a 50-page document that analyzed the problem and offered cost-effective solutions to the environmental issue. 

“This report represents a comprehensive design of a carbon credits program together with three financial instruments including one intermediate-term, one long-term and one call option to complete the goal of reducing carbon emission with 90 percent confidence,” noted the document. “We also estimate revenues based on the aim for the government to fund more future investments on renewable energy to reduce the pressure of the environment. Besides considering the risks associated with various stakeholders, the report will demonstrate a sensitivity analysis for several assumptions at length.”