Trade Talk Blog

The official blog of Trading Technologies, your source for professional futures trading software.

← Back to Trade Talk Blog
Tulane Algorithmic Trading Club members Willow Zhang (1st
Place) and Yuki Yang (2nd Place) used X_TRADER® to out-
perform the competition in the club’s first official trading contest.

Tulane University is one of Trading Technologies’ most active University Program partners. At Tulane, our X_TRADER® software is used in classroom instruction, and it’s installed at the A.B. Freeman Trading Center laboratory. The lab is accessible to all students, including members of the Tulane Algorithmic Trading Club (TATC).

The club supports research, facilitates discussions and encourages hands-on development of automated trading strategies. As a student organization, membership is open to all interested Tulane students.

TATC members gain real-world skills by writing and developing trading algorithms while learning from collaborations with their peers and faculty advisors. The students are challenged to trade in simulation mode against live market data using industry-standard technologies, including X_TRADER and TT’s application programming interfaces (APIs). The algorithms that they develop are deployed in simulation against real-market data, and the strategies are ranked in terms of profit to identify the students who’ve best met the challenge.

Recently, the club held its first official trading competition. Entry was open to all Tulane students. Participants were encouraged to be creative in their use of information and technology when they developed their automated strategies, which ranged from high-frequency styles that monitored market liquidity and took advantage of arbitrage opportunities to those that were a bit more long-term in nature and driven by technical indicators.

And the Winner Is…

After the contest concluded, TATC President Zachary Poche and Secretary Geoffrey Lewis reported: “…the Tulane Algorithmic Trading Club held its first trading competition. Algorithms were pitted against one another in a battle of mathematical wits and technical savvy. The competitors met in the trading laboratory at 12:00 PM, and, after a quick fine tuning of Trading Technologies by our resident tech wizard Kevin Ammentorp, trading began promptly at 12:15. After 45 minutes of trading, the best algorithm was evident and club member Willow walked away with the top prize, our respect and adoration, with an overall profit of $55,000. The first runner up was Yuki with a profit of $8,000.”

Willow’s winning strategy utilized the Average Directional Index (ADX) and the Commodity Channel Index (CCI), while Yuki’s runner-up strategy was a Moving Average (MA) indicator built entirely in ADL™, TT’s visual programming platform.

The students who participated in the contest said they appreciated the opportunity to apply what they learned in class using real-world tools in a real-world setting—to get real-world results.

Of particular interest to me is how enthusiastically the students employed ADL. It enabled them to design, test and deploy their trading algorithms in C# without writing a single line of code. Geoff and Zack told me that one of the biggest advantages to using ADL was the speed at which the students were able to generate, test and deploy their strategies once they were defined. These students haven’t graduated yet, but they know that in the marketplace, “speed to market” is vital, and they leveraged ADL to obtain a speed advantage.

Clubs like Tulane’s Algorithmic Trading Club highlight the collaboration of university, students and business. As a voluntary endeavor, the students display an entrepreneurial spirit with faculty guiding that spirit. I’d like to think companies like ours, that provide the technology and training, give them the tools to empower that spirit and bring their ideas to life. That’s a winning strategy for everyone.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The Tulane Algorithmic Trading Club is steered by Zachary Poche (President), Joshua Aiken (Vice President) and Geoffrey Lewis (secretary). Professors Joe LeBlanc and Geoffrey Parker are the faculty advisors.