CMU undergrad selected to be on college Jeopardy!

I’ll take “Cool Things that We Learned About Last Monday” for $2,000, Alex.

This Carnegie Mellon senior in civil and environmental engineering is competing in the upcoming Jeopardy! college tournament.

Who is Emma Farrell, who might be better known to some on campus for her work as a Head Orientation Counselor and General Manager at WRCT?

Correct! Farrell will compete for a $100,000 prize and a spot in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions against 14 other college students.

Though Farrell is the only Pennsylvanian to be competing in this college tournament, hailing originally from Telford, PA, Penn State senior Kylie Weaver has also been selected to compete.

Farrell is not the first Carnegie Mellon student to compete on the show. Last Nov., Carnegie Mellon alum Lindsey Schultz appeared on the Tournament of Champions after winning $103,002 over four episodes in March. Schultz was in the Science and Humanities Scholar program, majoring in biological sciences and ethics, history, and public policy. Schultz, who is from Connellsville, PA, made it to the semifinals in the Tournament of Champions, a competition which also included Jeopardy! record setter James Holzhauer.

Farrell has a similar multidisciplinary focus here at Carnegie Mellon, pairing her studies in civil and environmental engineering with history. This could serve to boost her chances in a wider variety of categories.

In 2004, Carnegie Mellon electrical and computer engineering junior Kermin Fleming won the $100,000 first place prize in the College Championship. In a classic 2004 Carnegie Mellon student move, Fleming made a bet of $1337 in his first episode, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was referencing the online slang “leet.” Fleming completed his masters at Carnegie Mellon, and then went on to do his Ph.D. at MIT.

Scott Weiss, who graduated as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s first undergraduate computer science class in 1992, made Jeopardy! history in 2007 when he ended his third game in a perfect tie for first place at $16,000. All contestants competed in a tie-breaking game, which Weiss lost in the final round.

IBM’s Watson became another Carnegie Mellon-affiliated Jeopardy! contestant. In 2011, the computer, developed at IBM with the help of Carnegie Mellon faculty and students, bested Jeopardy! legends Ken Jennings, who has the record for most consecutive wins, and Brad Rutter, who has won the most money in the show.

Watson then came to campus to compete in a Jeopardy!-like competition against Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh students. Watson ended with a final score of $52,100, to the Pitt team’s $12,937 and the Carnegie Mellon team’s $7,463.

Farrell’s Jeopardy! run will capture campus attention yet again when it airs April 6 to 17.