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Northwestern Wins Regional 'Fed Challenge'

Undergraduate team to contend in national competition for sixth year in a row

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November 11, 2009 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the sixth year in a row, Northwestern University will represent the Chicago Federal Reserve district in the national college "Fed Challenge" competition in Washington, D.C.

A competition that encourages students to apply theoretical topics in macroeconomics and monetary policy to the current economic situation, the 2009 national Federal Reserve Challenge will take place Dec. 1 and 2. Winners share in a scholarship pool of $50,000 provided by the Moody Foundation.

A Northwestern team of five undergraduates won the regional competition at the Chicago Federal Reserve Monday (Nov. 9). Team members are Daniel Wolf (captain), William Thompson, Ravi Umarji, Brian Levin and Lucas Zalduendo.

The Northwestern team emerged victorious after beating teams from 17 Midwest universities at the regional competition. Northwestern has won the national Fed Challenge three times, according to Mark Witte, team faculty advisor and distinguished senior lecturer in economics at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Wolf, who is from Pittsburgh, is a junior majoring in economics and history at Weinberg.

Thompson is a senior from Chicago studying economics and mathematics at Weinberg. He also is in the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates in Financial Economics.

Umarji, from Rockville, Md., is a senior studying applied mathematics at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and economics at Weinberg. He, too, is in the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates in Financial Economics. After graduation, he will work in New York for Goldman Sachs.

Levin, a sophomore from Long Grove, Ill., is studying applied mathematics at McCormick and economics at Weinberg.

Zalduendo, a Weinberg junior from Bethesda, Md., is studying economics and mathematical methods in the social sciences.

Research assistance to the Northwestern team was provided by undergraduates Jim An, David Chen, Alex Stacy and Dharini Subramanian.