About the Putnam Mathematical Competition
The annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is held on the first Saturday in December. The competition is open to all undergraduates. It consists of 12 challenging problems. The problems are hard (some very hard), but they are almost all accessible to virtually every student, and certainly to students who have had a year of calculus. Prizes are awarded to the individuals and teams with the highest scores. Questions will be included that cut across the bounds of various disciplines, and self-contained questions that do not fit into any of the usual categories may be included.
Northwestern University Team
The university will be ranked based on the performance of three students picked by the supervisor as members of the university team. In order to make an informed decision in picking the members of the team a selection test is given prior to registration. Students not in the team can and are encouraged to participate too as individual contestants.
Putnam Competition Training
To help prepare for this exam, we hold weekly problem-solving sessions during the Fall quarter. Any student interested in tackling difficult problems is welcome, regardless of whether s/he is planning on taking the Putnam exam.
The Competition Examination Is Constructed to Test:
- originality as well as technical competence
- familiarity with the formal theories embodied in undergraduate mathematics.
- references to qualitative existence theorems and subtleties beyond the routine solution devices.
- familiarity with the body of mathematical lore commonly discussed in mathematics clubs or in courses with such titles as “survey of the foundations of mathematics.”
- elementary concepts from group theory, set theory, graph theory, lattice theory, number theory, and cardinal arithmetic
More information about the Putnam Competition can be found here.
2018 Putnam Examination Results
The Seventy Ninth Putnam Examination was held on Saturday, December 1st, 2018. Seven undergraduates from Northwestern participated in the competition. According to the results announced in February 2019, the Northwestern University team got a total score of 32, and a rank of 97, meaning the 97th place (out of 568 institutions). NU students Aidan Perreault and Fiona Brady ranked in the 206-495.5 rank category. The full list of winners can be found here.
2018 Putnam Examination
The Seventy Ninth Putnam Examination was held on Saturday, December 1st, 2018.
It consisted of two sessions of three hours each:
- Morning Session: 9:00am-12:00noon, in Lunt 104.
- Afternoon Session: 2:00pm-5:00pm, in Lunt 104.
2018 Organizational Meeting
We held an organizational meeting on Tuesday, October 9th at 6:00pm in Lunt 104. We set the meeting time of subsequent problem solving sessions there (see below).
If you were unable to attend this meeting, please contact Miguel Lerma at email@example.com as soon as possible for more information, specifying on which afternoons you are free to attend training sessions.
2018 Selection test
The Putnam selection test intended to help us in selecting the university team was held on Thursday, October 18th, 2018, at 6:00pm-7:30pm in Lunt 104.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Complete information on the competition and the prizes can be found at http://math.scu.edu/putnam.
- More on Putnam Training and other Resources
- William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition - MAA web page
- William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition - SCU site
Back to top