While other groups worked with money, UW-Madison’s Commodity Trading group used algorithms to exchange soy and corn using a simulation to exhibit their work at a Chicago showcase. The group was the only undergraduate, agricultural-focused group among the displayed teams.
The group used software from the company Trading Technologies called ADL that was provided to them to create an algorithm that trades goods automatically. They traded over a 10-day span in a simulated market using the algorithms they created, working with new commodities and different circumstances each day.
After completing the trading simulation, they and four teams from different universities presented their work Jan. 13 at Trading Technology’s Chicago headquarters to professionals from seven proprietary trading firms. Muneera Khambaty, a UW-Madison sophomore and member of the group, said participants were able to network and discuss job opportunities with the professionals, which was a beneficial opportunity for the students.
“The trading industry is going toward algorithmic trading and so this was a good way to get our feet in the door and see where the industry is heading,” Khambaty said. “We definitely have a competitive edge on a lot of other students trying to get into this field.”
Khambaty said the team received comments of praise for their work and compliments about the uniqueness of their group.
This was the first year the Commodity Trading group attended the showcase. They have participated in a different trading competition through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the last three years where they have been a registered student organization. This competition requires them to use a different software and trade manually. Khambaty said she feels good about their team winning the cash prize at this year’s competition, which begins next week.
The trading group is comprised of five students who took the class Commodity Markets taught by Professor Sheldon Du. Khambaty said she thinks competing and showcasing their work will bring awareness to trading and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
“[The competitions] will make it easier for more people to get into the trading sphere now that we have more experience with it,” Khambaty said. "A lot of students want to get into the trading sphere but don’t know how, but this is a really good experience that gives them a heads up.”
UPDATE Jan. 17, 4:48 p.m. This story was updated to correctly label a product.