A quartet from the University of California, Berkeley, won the grand prize in Citadel LLC's yearlong datathon competition.
The Chicago-based hedge fund manager and affiliate Citadel Securities LLC sponsored 19 data-crunching, problem-solving competitions this year at universities in the U.S, U.K. and Ireland. Out of 10,000 applicants, 2,000 students were selected to compete in four-person teams.
Twenty teams survived to compete in the "Data Open Championship" at the New York Stock Exchange in late November where the UC Berkeley team triumphed.
Students Soren Kuenzel (Ph.D. candidate, statistics), Eric Munsing (Ph.D. candidate, civil and environmental engineering), Jake Soloff (Ph.D. student, statistics) and Allen Tang (undergraduate, computer science and statistics) will share the $100,000 prize for their in-depth analysis of where education funding would have the most impact.
Citadel's intent in hosting the competition was to identify talented student data scientists, engineers and computer programmers for recruitment to the firm, said Justin Pinchback, Citadel's head of talent strategy.
The competition exceeded the firm's expectations, Mr. Pinchback said, noting the firm has hired dozens of datathon participants to work in its Chicago, New York and London offices.
The success of this year's competition persuaded Citadel executives to expand the 2018 competition to include universities in other Western European countries and China.
Citadel manages $27 billion in hedge funds.