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UM MBA Student Wins $1,000 Prize in International Trading Competition

April 15, 2008
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 Trade Competition

UM MBA student Heather Williams won $1,000 this spring in an international algorithmic trading competition. The Interactive Brokers Collegiate Trading Olympiad, sponsored by Interactive Brokers, is open to any undergraduate or graduate student with programming experience, but trades must be generated by computer algorithms. Nearly 400 students representing 32 countries competed in the 2008 contest using the program interface that professional traders use to create automated trading solutions.  Each student’s account was credited with $1,000,000 in phantom money at the start of the eight-week competition.  

Williams worked with fellow MBA student, Ingrid Gonzalez, but each entered separate strategies. Williams’ strategy was based on trade channeling and earned a profit of $47,904.

“Working with the platform and monitoring it was more difficult than expected, but we saw that algorithmic trading can be valuable if done right for short periods of time,” said Williams who is completing her first year, concentrating in finance and marketing. Gonzalez’ strategy did not place, but both women plan to compete again next year.

The purpose of the Olympiad is to give students the opportunity to create and implement a real-time program trading application with the goal of generating the largest profit. Students compete for not only prize money, but also potential jobs.

“Interactive Brokers is sponsoring the Olympiad to highlight the growing need for tech savvy students in the financial industry, and to draw attention to this need in academia generally and particularly among students who are making important career choices,” says the group on its Web site.

For more information about the competition and to learn about entering next year, visit http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/general/education/IBTradingOlympiad.php.

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