University News

WIU Commodity Trading Team Places 43rd in the World

November 19, 2020

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- For the third time in three years, a team of Western Illinois University students have finished high in the CME Group Trading Challenge, a four-week, international electronic trading competition.

This year's team was made up of Cooper Bounds, a master of business administration (MBA) graduate student from Taneytown, MD; Amy Johnson, a senior agriculture major from Cambridge, IL; Matthew Swanson, a senior agriculture major from LaHarpe, IL; and Arthur Wasilowksi, a master of business administration (MBA) graduate student from Des Plaines, IL.

The team finished in the top 8 percent of the competition, 43rd of 503 teams worldwide. In 2019, the WIU team finished 44th out of 409 teams, in the top 11 percent, and in 2018, the team finished 18th out of nearly 600 teams.

"The CME Group University Trading Challenge is a simulated, electronic trading competition that allows students from around the world to experience the excitement, energy and decision-making environment of real-time futures trading using the CQG electronic trading platform," said WIU team advisor Associate Professor of Agriculture Jason Franken. "The competition ran from Oct. 4-30 this year. Teams consist of three-to-five students from the same university."

Franken said each team started the competition with $500,000 in "play money" to trade with, and WIU students turned that into over $595,082 by the end of the contest.

"Teams from WIU have placed around the top 10 percent in the competition for three years straight now, so we're proud of this group carrying on what seems to be becoming a tradition here, and even improving a bit on last year's finish," Franken said.

The CME Challenge simulated trading contracts in commodity futures markets using CQG trading software.

For more information about WIU's School of Agriculture programming, visit

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing