Fall-20. Math 191 (class # 32456): Putnam Workshop

Instructor: Alexander Givental
Meetings: TuTh 2:00-3:30 in 736 Evans

This class will function as a problem-solving seminar intended, in the first place, for those who plan to take the Putnam Exam, the US and Canada math competition for college students. Our objectives will be to build participant's confidence in solving challenging math problems and, more importantly, to learn interesting mathematics, using materials of various Mathematical Circles and Olympiads as motivation.

Normally, such seminars would have a form of interactive discussions or real-time brainstorming. This might be harder to do in the Zoom version. So, we'll have to experiment and decide in the flight what's the best mode of in-class communication. I'd suggest that you, the participant, think in advance of a way of sharing your screen on Zoom: either from a tablet, or by using the iPhone camera directed to a sheet of paper where you can write.

In Putnam Competitions, the participants are expected to be familiar with some core material from Linear Algebra, Mathematical Analysis, and Abstract Algebra.
It is a part of the plan to offer a few mini-courses on some of these topics. However, I am teaching Math H110 and Math H113 this semester, and if you feel ready, you are welcome to enroll there too.

There is no real basis for letter-grading in this seminar. So, I'd urge the participants to change their grading option to P/NP (which is easier than solving the namesake problem in the theory of algorithms)