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 2018, there were 4,623 contestants in the U.S. and Canada. Fewer than 5% received scores of 41 or higher; and a median score was 2 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 2021 seminar will be taught by Professor Olga Holtz under the course number Math 191.  

Further information is available at the official site for the competition.