Mines News

Release Date Monday, May 14, 2018

SD Mines Butterfield Cup Winners Build Software That Manages Stock Market Trades & Yields Profit

Front Row: Morgan Benninghofen, sophomore computer science major from Wayzata, MN; Jeffrey Ross, senior computer science major from Rapid City. Back Row: Tiati Thelen, sophomore math major from Brandon, SD; Josef Ceritelli, senior from Sacramento, CA.

RAPID CITY, SD (May 14, 2018) – A team of South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students have won the annual Butterfield Cup. The competition is part of the university’s CSC 340 software engineering course, taught by assistant professor of mathematics and computer science Paul Hinker, Ph.D. This year’s contest challenged students to write software that performs technical analysis of publicly traded stocks and make buy and sell decisions to manage a portfolio.

The fifth annual Butterfield Cup winners are Tiati Thelen, Josef Ceritelli, Morgan Benninghofen and Jeffrey Ross. The winning program, named ‘Darth Trader,’ topped nine other teams in performance tests. The judging included running the trading programs against stock market data from various times in the past. Each program trader was given an initial cash budget and then allowed to run for 250 – 350 trading days.

The Darth Trader team brought back a gain of about 35 percent averaged over three trading periods. The trading periods were chosen so that there was one each of an up-trending market (calendar year 2017), a sideways trending market and a down trending market. There were nine other teams of four to five students also in the competition.

The Butterfield Cup is an annual competition created by local entrepreneurs to recognize the best mobile app or software produced by a team of students in a semester. Previous winners have gone on to become finalists in the Governor’s Giant Vision Competition.



About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu

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