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Putnam Mathematical Competition
Congratulations, the 2011 scores are in!
- Rui Sheng (Scott) Shi- Top 200 with a prize of $150
- Steven Melczer and Andrew Poelstra- Top 500 with prizes of $100
Are you an SFU Undergrad who Relishes a challenge?
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, often abbreviated to the Putnam Competition, is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate college students of the United States, Canada. It is considered by many to be the most prestigious university-level mathematics examination in the world.
In 2011, over 4000 undergraduates from more than 550 institutions in Canada and the USA entered the competition. SFU entered 20 students. Three of them placed- Rui Sheng Shi in the Top 200 and Steven Melczer and Andrew Poelstra in the Top 500.
SFU's best performance to date was in 1999, when Colin Percival was one of the six highest ranking individuals and the team of Arthur Kowalczyk, Tomasz Kowalczyk and Colin Percival placed among the top ten teams.
The Putnam isn't easy. Typically more than half the entrants in any year score 0, 1 or 2 points — out of a possible 120! Yet the questions don't assume anything beyond standard undergraduate mathematics. Success in answering questions requires persistence, originality, and crystal-clear expression of ideas. To see what it's all about, try your hand at a few problems from previous Putnam Competitions.
Interested? Contact Dr. Jonathan Jedwab to be included on the SFU Putnam email list, and check for the latest information on SFU problem-solving activities.