20 June 2017 – A team of NUS Computing students won the Singapore side of the BNP Paribas International Hackathon 2017, which was held simultaneously in 10 cities around the world from 9th to 11th June.

Joseph Tang (Year 2, Computer Science), Ma Tianran (Year 2, Business Analytics), Huang Weilong (final year, Computer Science), Xie Zhongle (PhD candidate, Computer Science), and Shao Feng (PhD candidate, Computer Science), together Computer Science research intern Yang Kai and Faculty of Science student Ooi Gene Yan (final year, Mathematics), competed under Shentilium, a NUS Computing start-up co-founded by Gene Yan and Professor Ooi Beng Chin, and their partners.

A total of 160 start-ups in Singapore, San Francisco, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw, Istanbul, and Nanjing participated in the hackathon. Team Shentilium received S$10,000 for their solution to the ‘How can you help [BNP Paribas] better support our institutional clients with smart pre- and post-trade analytics?’ problem, and advanced to the 10-week ‘co-working’ phase, along with 27 other teams across the globe. “We developed a portfolio management tool that crowd sources market sentiment from social media and financial news sources. This helps both portfolio managers and clients monitor their portfolios. Traditionally, portfolio management has primarily been concerned with performance and risk. Part of the solution consists of a long short-term memory (LSTM) model implemented on APACHE SINGA, a deep learning framework developed by the Database group at NUS Computing,” explained Gene Yan.

Describing the experience, Gene Yan said, “Completing a viable demo within the 48 hours was a challenge. We wanted to show a live demo, instead of just presenting slides, so we focused on the engineering. We think this helped the jury better understand and visualize what we were trying to do. Winning was definitely a highlight for us! We were thrilled, and are excited to co-work with BNP Paribas to take the product to the next level.”

Teams in the co-working phase will work with BNP Paribas and be provided additional resources such as financial support and access to BNP Paribas’ international network of experts and mentors to further develop their solutions. Selected teams from this phase will progress to the ‘Demo Day’ in Paris in December, where they will present their prototype to international FinTech experts and the BNP Paribas Executive Committee, and compete for prizes and the opportunity to work with BNP Paribas to turn their prototype into a real-world banking solution.