Matthew Markham, an undergraduate student in the School of Chemistry, has achieved 2nd place in the UK in the International Quant Championship.
The International Quant Championship is a global, quantitative finance competition takes place on WorldQuant’s intuitive, web-based simulation platform, WebSim, an online environment where users can translate ideas for predicting the movement of financial markets. This year saw over 20,000 participant enter, representing 3,000 universities across 140 countries.
In March 20,000 students, alumni and professors formed teams of one to six individuals from the same university and competed at a local/university level. In stage two 3,000 qualifying participants continued competing until 20th June when the leaderboard was frozen. Using the scores on the leaderboard the top 125 teams from 32 countries were invited to deliver a presentation at the National finals. 11 countries hosted a live National finals and we conducted one virtual finals for the countries that only have a couple of teams who qualified.
Last week nine UK teams presented their top three mathematical models to a panel of WorldQuant judges. The participants presentation score was added to the score they had generated on our WebSim platform and Matthew achieved second place in the UK which is a huge achievement.
Matthew was a strong candidate throughout the competition and continuously scored highly on the UK leaderboard. He impressed the judges with his knowledge and his approach to building mathematical models. His excellent presentation allowed him to score well and he truly deserved to earn second place.
I wasn’t part of a team in the end, I just entered the competition by myself – a team of one!
The competition was a bit of an experience. Most of the legwork was creating the alpha expressions in stages one and two. This resulted in quite a few late nights, the second stage closed at 5am and I ended up working until past 4 with work that day. Still I guess it was worth it! The analytical components of the Chemistry degree definitely helped and I think it was an advantage to be coming from a non-finance background as it helped me to produce original ideas which earned me higher scores.
The most valuable experience was giving my presentation at the national finals and meeting the judges and other finalists. Presenting my ideas to executives of an international quant fund was pretty daunting but a huge honour.
Matthew has done a fantastic job representing the School of Chemistry. We were delighted to hear how well he did in the International Quant Championship.
He is an excellent ambassador for the School and his achievements demonstrate how the analytical skill-set from our Chemistry degrees is transferable to both commercial and research applications.