While some hedge funds have suffered 'humbling losses' during the coronavirus crisis, others seem to be doing fine: Citadel’s flagship Wellington fund gained 1.2% and is up almost 6% for the year. In the circumstances, Citadel can still afford to hire. It can also afford to lure talented students with generous cash prizes.
Citadel (the hedge fund) and Citadel Securities (the electronic market maker) this week paid out $130k in prize money to students who won its 'Data Open Championship'. Three PhD students at London's Imperial College and one at HEC in Paris shared $100k between them. Teams from MIT and Cornell University received prizes of an additional $20k and $10k respectively.
This was Citadel's third annual data championship. Usually the event takes place at the New York Stock Exchange, this year it happened over Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, and Jupyter Notebook. Using machine learning and data analysis, 18 teams of students competed over a five day period to analyze datasets provided by Citadel relating to the rise of e-commerce in Brazil. Teams pitched their findings to judges from Citadel and Citadel Securities, including Dr. Navneet Arora, the firm's head of quantitative strategies and Li Deng, Citadel’s Chief AI Officer.
The winning teams walked away with the prize money and the promise of an interview for Citadel's graduate roles in quantitative research, data science, software engineering, trading, and investment. If you're looking for an entry-level job at Citadel or Citadel Securities the Data Open is a good place to start - since the programme began in 2017, the firms have hired a number of participants for full-time and internship roles. This year alone 41 participants have accepted offers.
Applications for the 2021 Data Open are expected to open in the late summer.
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