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Competition Overview and Guidelines

Through our ongoing Alpha building competition, also referred to as WorldQuant Challenge, users participate and are provided with skill-building opportunities to create high performing algorithms.

Below are some operating guidelines and rewards for participating in the competition:
  1. An individual participant who wishes to join in the competition ("you" or the "participant") must be over eighteen (18) years of age and not prohibited from participating by any law, agreement, binding obligation or policy. You are responsible for obtaining any permissions necessary for you to participate. You must first register as a WebSim user and be approved by the system. Existing WebSim users meeting the other requirements detailed here may also compete by visiting the Challenge tab after logging into WebSim.
  2. There is no fee to register. Each participant should register only once and a participant's account or ID may not be shared.
  3. The participant accumulates points by building predictive models (alphas) using historical market data and predefined operators or Python to simulate trading positions, assigning weights to tradable securities based on a prediction of the expected returns in the next defined trading period. Alphas are considered for scoring if they qualify for out-of-sample testing. Each qualifying alpha is scored based on its performance against other alphas in the system.
  4. Alphas submitted before registering for the competition will not be considered for scoring.
  5. The participant is first given a target score for Bronze and a window of 60 calendar days to achieve that target. If the participant is unable to reach the target within 60 calendar days, the participant is eliminated from the competition.
  6. After reaching the first target, the participant is given another target score for Silver within 60 calendar days. Finally, the same applies at the Gold level for those who move ahead.
  7. Scores associated with existing alphas can go up, down or stay the same based on out-of-sample performance of alphas on a weekly basis (or any other selected evaluation interval).
  8. We reserve the right to change the evaluation window (currently specified as 60 calendar days) for one or all levels in our sole discretion.
  9. Participation, including achieving a certain level (Bronze, Silver or Gold), does not entitle participants to claim any item of value or other consideration.
  10. A leader board will show the ranking of each participant in the competition. The leader board will have location information on participants which will allow users to filter the leader board by Country, City and University. Filters are based on information provided by participants. It is each participant's responsibility to ensure their profile information is accurate. Participant further agrees not to use any illegal, offensive, inflammatory, abusive, libelous, defamatory, discriminatory, obscene or otherwise inappropriate image, language or other content in their profile or post it on the site.
  11. By participating in the competition, you agree to grant the rights to your alphas and other Input as set forth herein and to comply with these guidelines and WebSim Agreement (incorporated herein by reference). By participating, a participant represents and warrants that any alpha submitted by participant is participant's own original work. No part of the alpha can be subject to the rights of any other person or entity.
  12. We reserve the right to change the scoring algorithm at any time. We reserve the right to amend the site, any elements of the competition or these guidelines at any time in our sole discretion with or without notice to participants, and to cancel, change or terminate the competition or disqualify any participants without any compensation.
  13. We reserve the right to review any submitted alpha and disqualify the Alpha or terminate the participant’s account without any notice if we find the deliberate introduction of “noise” to subvert our scoring systems.
  14. Further if we detect any signs of “gaming”, sharing/cheating or any other unethical/dishonest behavior, we will terminate the participant’s account and may report the matter as necessary.
  15. Users should only have one active WebSim account. Duplicate accounts are grounds for suspension not just from the Challenge but also from WebSim. Please ensure you deactivate any duplicate accounts you may knowingly or accidentally create by using the following URL:

Consulting Opportunity


  1. Consulting opportunity (with small stipend) for everyone who achieves Gold level
  2. At our discretion, we may offer consulting opportunities to some participants who achieve Sliver level
  3. Spring Alphathon
    • As part of the WorldQuant Challenge, our “Alphathon” will run  from March 1, 2017, 00:00 UTC through April 30, 2017 23:59 UTC(the “Alphathon Period”). 
    • The top scorer in Level 1 during the Alphathon will be considered for a one-time special additional stipend of up to USD $2,500, once they qualify, per the requirements described further below, to become a Research Consultant.
    • Participants who reach Gold level based solely on qualifying alphas created, simulated and submitted during the Alphathon Period will be considered for a one-time special stipend in accordance with the levels defined below once they qualify, per the requirements described further below, to become a Research Consultant.
    • Rankings will be based on a participant’s total Score, which may go up or down depending upon the performance of the alphas on most recent data.
    • A Participant’s Alphathon alphas will each need to have a Meta Score of more than 1,000 in order for the participant to be considered for a one-time special stipend.
    • In order to be considered for a one-time special stipend, a participant must have created both “Delay 1” and “Delay 0” alphas during the Alphathon Period. At a minimum, the number of a participant’s qualifying Delay 1 alphas may not be less than 30% of the participant’s total number of qualifying alphas for the Alphathon. Alphathon participants who do not meet the foregoing criterion may be disqualified from receiving a one-time special stipend in connection with the Alphathon .
    • A snapshot of alphas will be taken as of the close of the Alphathon, which will be used for final scoring.
      • Level 1: The 9 individuals whose final score positions are 2 through 10 at Gold level within the Alphathon Period will each be considered for a one-time special stipend of up to USD $1,000 in our discretion.
      • Level 2: The next 40 individuals whose final score positions are 11 through 50 at Gold level within the Alphathon Period will each be considered for a one-time special stipend of up to USD $500 in our discretion.
      • Level 3: The next 50 individuals whose final score positions are 51 through 100 with in the Alphathon period will each be considered for a one-time stipend of up to USD $200 in our discretion.
    • The Alphathon is subject to all other guidelines and terms applicable to participation in the WorldQuant Challenge.
No consulting opportunity or any compensation is guaranteed; any engagement as a Research Consultant is subject to satisfactory completion of background checks, execution of a consulting agreement and other applicable requirements in the discretion of the Sponsor.