Decrease Font SizeIncrease Font Size

Prescription for a sick economy takes team to national competition

By Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the seventh straight year, Northwestern University will represent the Chicago Federal Reserve district in the national college “Fed Challenge” competition in the nation’s capital. The national championship takes place Nov. 30 at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

On Monday (Nov. 1), a team of five Northwestern undergraduates emerged victorious in the Regional College Federal Reserve Challenge at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The competition involved two rounds in which competing teams discussed the state of the economy and presented their ideas about how the Federal Reserve should respond to it. The teams then took questions from a panel of Federal Reserve economists.

The winning team – comprised of Daniel Wolf, Lucas Zalduendo, Brian Levin, Shalini Singh and Max Slivka -- won the regional contest after defeating teams from 20 Midwest universities, including University of Chicago, University of Michigan and Notre Dame.

The Northwestern team is impressive -- even to its faculty advisor Mark Witte. “Team members will ask me a difficult question about the economy, and by the time I come up with my try at an answer they’ve often already figured out a better one,” says the distinguished senior lecturer in economics in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Wolf, a senior from Pittsburgh, is majoring in economics at Weinberg.

Zalduendo, a Weinberg senior from Bethesda, Md., is studying economics, mathematics and mathematical methods in the social sciences. He is captain of the Fed Challenge team.

Levin, a junior from Long Grove, Ill., is studying economics at Weinberg and industrial engineering and management sciences at McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Singh, a Weinberg junior from Mumbai, is studying economics, mathematics and mathematical methods in the social sciences.

Slivka, a junior from Clyde Hill, Wash., is studying applied mathematics and industrial engineering and management sciences at McCormick as well as economics at Weinberg.

The Northwestern team was supported by research assistance from junior Tughan Alioglu, sophomore Geoffrey Bery, sophomore David Chen, junior Alexander Stacy, sophomore Gabrielle Starfield and sophomore Eric Zhang.