Thursday 29 April – Tuesday 4 May
As part of the fortnight event series “Actuarial Innovation in the Covid-19 Era” we invite you to take part in our R number modelling hackathon. If you are interested in modelling of the Covid-19 pandemic this is your chance! We welcome teams, no matter what your experience is, to take part in this quick-paced challenge.
The exact problem statement will be delivered to contestants at the start of the hackathon. The general area of the problem will be an extension of the R analysis to accommodate emerging issues, in a similar way that the ARG October bulletin developed additional insights that could have further shaped public understanding and policy.
Early on in the pandemic, the world got to understand the concept of the R value of a pandemic development. This is the number of people that each infected person infects. An R of less than 1 means that over time the pandemic goes away, a number above 1 means that more and more people are infected over time. This has become a common number used by the scientists and government to describe the current situation and therefore the reason for lockdown and social distancing action. Indeed COVID-19 can be compared to other diseases and pandemics using this R number. In the UK the ONS publishes data weekly on an estimate of the R number and it is widely reported.
But actually the R number is too simplistic – should you look at the R number for a region or country or continent; how do you calculate the R number in real time; what differences does an R number mask that would be more or less important for policy makers?
The Actuaries Response Group (ARG) has been at the forefront of examining and explaining the issues as they arise. But they also highlight the issues that are still to come, or worse, are missing some crucial pieces. In their bulletin of 18 October 2020, they analysed the issue of superspreaders. In this analysis they questioned the R number metric and described circumstances in which it is more or less useless as a diagnostic metric or policy shaping metric.
It is this type of issue that the hackathon will address. What additional insight is needed on key items that are discussed in public, and used by government to make decisions? The actual problem will relate to the R number, but will be released in accordance with the timeline below and based on topics relevant at the time.
Working in small teams, you will need to perform the following activities:
- Analyse relevant data: for the R number evaluation this would be UK ONS COVID-19 R development reports and their underlying SARS-COV2 prevalence studies, but you could use alternative data, or supplement this data if you choose to.
- Performance analysis: build models and develop analytical tools to understand the drivers of current developments and project these into the future
- Draw conclusions: provide results and conclusions to prove or disprove a current hypothesis on what is happening and what may happen next
- Communicate the results: report to a knowledgeable non-actuarial audience
The exact problem statement will be delivered to contestants at the start of the hackathon.
How to get involved
Submit your team via the registration form.
You will receive details of the question at 09:00 (BST/UTC+1) on Thursday 29 April.
Your team will need to collaborate, analyse data and drawn conclusions to form two outputs:
- Links to your data set with instructions and any analysis code
- A summary paper describing data analysis and conclusions (3-4 pages)
Since teams will have a limited time period to complete this task, being succinct in your outputs will be extremely important. The ARG bulletin provides a good example of the output the panel will be expecting. Outputs (conclusions, copies of the model, and instructions on how to run, data used etc) will need to be uploaded to Egress to be reviewed by our judging panel. Whilst Egress is not a public platform, you should release output as though you were sharing to a public platform such as when ARG released their report.
Teams will need to submit their responses by 23:59 (BST/UTC+1) on Tuesday 4 May.
Responses will be reviewed by a panel of ICAT coordinators, ARG and IFoA members and a winning team will be decided.
Winners will be announced on the IFoA website and may be invited to present their findings at a future event.
In participating in this challenge, you agree to the following:
- The hackathon is open to anyone aged 16 or over, excluding employees of the IFoA and their families.
- Entries are limited to one submission per team.
- At least one member of the team is an IFoA or affiliate member.
- The IFoA reserves all rights to disqualify you if your conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the challenge.
- The panel will choose the winning team from all, eligible entries received. The decision of the panel is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
- By submitting an entry you confirm that the entry is your own original creation. You agree by your entry submission that the IFoA can use your idea, findings or methodology as it considers appropriate for the use of the whole profession and you further agree that the IFoA may reproduce the entry for publicity in relation to this and/or other promotions or initiatives.
- You will not use any third party material, data or information which you do not have authority to freely use without limitation and will not breach the intellectual property rights of any third party in your participation.
- No entries will be returned.
Sign up now!
Need help finding a team?
If you would like to get involved but don’t have a team please contact Katy Stephenson. We may be able to connect you with other individuals also interested in the hackathon.
Filter or search events
Wicked Problems, Clumsy Solutions and Leading Change
Dr Catherine Donnelly will present the basics of the structures for pooling longevity risks and summarise recent research results in this area in addition to outlinging future research around this topic. This is work under a research programme funded by the IFoA's Actuarial Research Centre, called 'Minimizing longevity and investment risk while optimising future pension plans'.
Climate-Related Risk - This free to view webinar on Climate-Related Risk is the first in a series focusing on some of the ‘Hotspots’ identified in the JFAR Risk Perspective bringing the Risk Perspective to life with practical illustrations and insights from subject experts from the IFoA and other Regulators
Recent decades have seen institutions, such as employers and financial services, give people more choice and flexibility, but these freedoms have come with more responsibilities. Individuals are now responsible for managing more of their own financial risks, from ensuring they put enough money into their pension to securing affordable protection to be financially resilient.
Join us for this brand new IFoA webinar weries comprising of a fortnight of webinars, panel sessions and a hackathon, that showcase the range of ways in which the actuarial profession has added value, in the public interest, to the understanding and management of the current and future pandemics through insight and learning.
This event is now temporarily closed on Monday 26 April, but the session will be repeated on Tuesday 27 April, 09.00-10.30. Please click here to register your place.
Actuaries have a lot to offer biodiversity management over the next decade as the world develops more depth to its response to this global challenge. This sessional offers an opportunity to learn about this emergent risk, to contribute to our thinking as a profession and help us develop the next steps forward.
IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual Europe Town Hall, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Alan Rae, Jennifer Hartley, Maribel Vasquez Flores and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.
Mis-estimation risk is a key element of demographic risk, and past work has focused on mis-estimation risk on a run-off basis. However, this does not meet the requirements of regulatory regimes like Solvency II, which demands that capital requirements are set through the prism of a finite horizon like one year. This paper presents a value-at-risk approach to mis-estimation risk suitable for Solvency II work
This year's Finance and Investment Virtual Conference takes on the timely theme of ‘resilience’, something we have all learnt a lot more about in the last year! Our diverse range of talks will explore the theme of resilience in a variety of ways including in building robust investment portfolios, in the incorporation of ESG factors, in govern
This talk will explore the potential benefits that wearable tech can bring to health & protection insurers and their customers. The traditional approach of integrating wearables into insurance has largely focused on measuring steps and using rewards-based incentive programs to encourage more activity.
Join us for this talk with Professor Sir Adrian Smith as part of the 'Dr Patrick Poon Presidential Speaker Series'. Professor Smith joined The Alan Turing Institute as Institute Director and Chief Executive in September 2018. In November 2020, he became President of the Royal Society, in addition to his leadership of the Turing. He is also a member of the government's AI Council, which helps boost AI growth in the UK and promote its adoption and ethical use in businesses and organisations across the country. He received a knighthood in the 2011 New Year Honours list.
We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty. Survival depends on our ability to simultaneously navigate through the diverse root-causes, ranging from: the consequences of Climate Change; on-going financial consequences of the COVID pandemic; or self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements and accounting standards.
Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.