William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition
This annual Putnam exam competition, open to undergraduates, is held on
the first Saturday of December. More than 4000 students from over 500
colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada take part in this, the
best known and most prestigious mathematics competition in America. The
test consists of 12 mathematics problems (each worth 10 points) in which
the emphasis is less on knowing a vast amount of mathematics and more
on seeing through to the heart of a problem. In 2012, there were 4,277
contestants in the U.S. and Canada. Fewer than 5% received scores of 32
or higher; and a median score was 0 points out of a possible 120.
All students with interests in the mathematical sciences are strongly encouraged to participate. The problem-solving skills developed through practicing for and participating in the competition should prove useful both in course work and in later life.
Credit for preparing for and participating in the competition is available through a Mathematics 191 seminar in Advanced Problem Solving which is offered every fall semester. The Fall 2013 seminar (Math 191 section 1) will be taught by Professor Alexander Givental on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-2.
Further information is available at the official site for the competition: http://www.maa.org/awards/putnam.html