The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Department of Mathematics Financial Mathematics

Financial Mathematics Students Place Third at Annual Rotman International Trading Competition

Each year, fifty teams made up of students from top universities around the world participate in the highly competitive, three-day Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC). This annual competition uses simulated, real-world market trading scenarios, giving its contestants a taste for what’s to come in their professional careers. RITC is one of the most highly anticipated professional business competitions in North America because it gives students the opportunity to test their skills in a realistic and fun way as they network with industry professionals. This past February, the Financial Mathematics Program sent two teams to Canada for participation in RITC 2012. This annual event, organized by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, is held in Toronto, the center of Canada's financial hub.

The Financial Mathematics Program, with instructor Roger Lee at the helm, sponsored the trip, providing funding and practice equipment. Members of team ‘A’ found that many of the mathematical models learned in class, particularly during Option Pricing, were very useful in the competition. Yunyu confirmed that team ‘A’ would continue the Financial Mathematic tradition of “leave[ing]…notes for future teams to study.”

Team ‘A’ won first place in the Sales & Trader and Quantitative & Event Driven trading cases and brought home a third  place ranking  in the overall competition.  The team was made up of Financial Mathematics students – Jun Liu, Yixing Zhang, Yunyu Zhao, and Navreet Gill.  

Jun summarized his experience at RITC, saying it was “exhausting because it is performance based, but still pretty interesting,” and went on to recommend that “everyone…try it if they have the chance.” The rest of the team agreed with his overall assessment of the event, with each member stressing that a considerable amount of work went into preparing for and competing in the trading cases. Despite the pressure, however, they agreed that the general air of excitement made the experience very positive. “Staying calm, good preparation, and having fun,” Yixing chimed in, “is my biggest advice.”

According to Jun, RITC provided the team members with valuable hard and soft skills. Yixing mentioned that they learned how to use Excel to program models, while Navreet came to understand the importance of good time management saying, “We practiced 5 days a week for around 3 hours per day. Good time management is key; in addition to the competition, we had to keep up with our school work, which mean a lot of coordinating schedules.”

Competing in the RITC can have lasting benefits. Both Navreet and Yixing received an email from quantitativebrokers.com requesting an interview. MSFM’s team ‘A’ members agree that participating the competition was great for exposure and networking.

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