Difference between revisions of "William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition"

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Top scoring students on the Putnam exam are named Putnam Fellows.
 
Top scoring students on the Putnam exam are named Putnam Fellows.
  
== The Competition ==
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{{Contest Info|name=Putnam|region=USA|type=Proof|difficulty=7 - 9|breakdown=<u>Problem A/B, 1/2</u>: 7<br><u>Problem A/B, 3/4</u>: 8<br><u>Problem A/B, 5/6</u>: 9}}
The '''Putnam Exam''' is a two-session undergraduate exam  in which there are 3 hours in each sitting with a 2-hour lunch break between them. There are 6 problems in each session. It is usually held once a year on the first Saturday of December.
 
Each problem is graded on a scale of 0-10. This makes a perfect score of 120.
 
The top five scorers (more if there are ties) on the exam are named "Putnam Fellows."
 
  
Each school chooses three students before the contest to be the official school Putnam team. The team rankings are determined by adding the ranks of the three students on the team -- thus, a school whose team members placed 1st, 2nd and 20th would likely place lower than a school whose team members placed 6th, 7th and 8th.
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== Rules ==
 +
The '''Putnam Exam''' is a 6 hour undergraduate exam usually held the first Saturday in December. The test consists of two 3 hour sessions of six problems each with 2 hour lunch break between them. The problems are proof-oriented and written in roughly the same style as high school olympiads are, although they include more advanced mathematics. Each problem is graded on a scale of 0 to 10,  but the grades 4&ndash;6 are never used.  In fact, the grades 3 and 7 are almost never used; a handful of 3s and 7s were used in 2000, but there is no evidence of their use since then. The top five scorers (or more if there are ties) on the exam are named Putnam Fellows.
  
A person make take the Putnam Exam a maximum of four times.
+
Each school may have as many students as are interested sit for the exam. Each school's team score is determined by adding the ranks (not the scores) of its top three students, and the team with the lowest point total wins. For example, a school whose top students placed 1st, 2nd and 20th would place lower than a school whose top students placed 6th, 7th and 8th. (In the case of ties, every student is assigned the average of the range of ranks that would have been attained had there been no tie -- that is, if the top three students tie, they are all awarded a rank of <math>\frac{1 + 2 + 3}{3}=2</math>.) Before 2019, schools were required to choose their team members in advance, which regularly lead to schools selecting the "wrong team." For example, only two of the six 2007 Putnam fellows were members of their school teams. In some cases this has led to a team placing lower than they would have had they chosen the three team members who went on to score the highest.  In recent years, this effect has been particularly noticeable at [[MIT]]: in both 2005 and 2006, MIT had three Putnam Fellows (out of six and five, respectively), but did not finish above third place either year.
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A person may take the Putnam Exam a maximum of four times. Typically, this means a student may sit each year he or she is an undergraduate, although high school seniors have occasionally taken the exam officially.
  
 
==Placings and Prizes==
 
==Placings and Prizes==
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===Individuals===
 
===Individuals===
*Putnam fellows
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*Putnam fellows, \$2,500
**$2,500
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*The next top ten individuals, \$1,000
*The next top ten individuals
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*Next Ten Individuals , \$250
**$1,000
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*Next Ten Individuals  
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*Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize- The Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize is awarded periodically to a woman whose performance in the competition is deemed particularly meritorious. This prize would be in addition to any other prize she might otherwise win. Women contestants, to be eligible for this prize, must specify their gender.
**$250
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**&#36;1,000
  
 
===Teams===
 
===Teams===
 
*First Place team
 
*First Place team
**Team members recieve $1,000
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**Team members recieve &#36;1,000
**School recieves $25,000
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**School recieves &#36;25,000
 
*Second Place Team
 
*Second Place Team
**Team members recieve $800
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**Team members recieve &#36;800
**School recieves $20,000
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**School recieves &#36;20,000
 
*Third Place Team
 
*Third Place Team
**Team members recieve $600
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**Team members recieve &#36;600
**School recieves $15,000
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**School recieves &#36;15,000
 
*Fourth Place Team  
 
*Fourth Place Team  
**Team members recieves $400  
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**Team members recieves &#36;400  
**School recieves $10,000
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**School recieves &#36;10,000
 
*Fifth Place Team  
 
*Fifth Place Team  
**Team members recieve $200
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**Team members recieve &#36;200
**School recieves $5,000
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**School recieves &#36;5,000
 
 
*Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize- The Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize will be awarded periodically to a woman whose performance in the Competition has been deemed particularly meritorious. This prize would be in addition to any other prize she might otherwise win. Women contestants, to be eligible for this prize, must specify their gender.
 
**$1,000
 
 
 
== Past Winners ==
 
Note that the Putnam Fellows for any given year are listed in alphabetical order, whereas the top-scoring teams are listed in their order of finish.
 
 
 
===Putnam Fellows===
 
*2005:
 
**Oleg Goldberg
 
**Matthew Ince
 
**Daniel Kane
 
**Ricky Liu
 
**Tiankai Liu
 
**Aaron Pixton
 
*2004:
 
**Reid Barton
 
**Vladmir Barzov
 
**Ana Caraiani
 
**Daniel Kane
 
**Aaron Pixton
 
*2003:
 
**Reid Barton
 
**Ana Caraiani
 
**Gabriel Carroll
 
**Ralph Furmaniak
 
**Daniel Kane
 
*2002:
 
**Reid Barton
 
**Gabriel Carroll
 
**Deniss Cebikins
 
**Alexander Schwartz
 
**Melanie Wood
 
*2001:
 
**Reid Barton
 
**Gabriel Carroll
 
**Kevin Lacker
 
**George Lee Jr.
 
**Jan Siwanowicz
 
 
 
===Team Winners===
 
*2005:
 
**Harvard University
 
**Princeton University
 
**Duke University
 
**Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
**University of Waterloo
 
*2004:
 
**Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
**Princeton University
 
**Duke University
 
**University of Waterloo
 
**California Institute of Technology
 
*2003:
 
**Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
**Harvard University
 
**Duke University
 
**California Institute of Technology
 
**Harvey Mudd College
 
*2002:
 
**Harvard University
 
**Princeton University
 
**Duke University
 
**University of California, Berkeley
 
**Stanford University
 
*2001:
 
**Harvard University
 
**Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
**Duke University
 
**University of California, Berkeley
 
**Stanford University
 
  
 
== Problem Books ==
 
== Problem Books ==
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Books/AoPS_B_Item.php?page_id=47 1938-1964] -- A good book for students just learning to solve Putnam Problems.
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* [https://www.amazon.com/William-Lowell-Putnam-Mathematical-Competition/dp/0883854627 1938-1964] -- A good book for students just learning to solve Putnam Problems.
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Books/AoPS_B_Item.php?page_id=48 1965-1984]
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Books/AoPS_B_Item.php?page_id=48 1965-1984]
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Books/AoPS_B_Item.php?page_id=49 1985-2000] by [[Kiran Kedlaya]], [[Bjorn Poonen]], and [[Ravi Vakil]].  The three authors are among the most successful Putnam participants of all time.
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Books/AoPS_B_Item.php?page_id=49 1985-2000] by [[Kiran Kedlaya]], [[Bjorn Poonen]], and [[Ravi Vakil]].  The three authors are among the most successful Putnam participants of all time.
  
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== Resources ==
  
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* [http://math.scu.edu/putnam/ Putnam website]
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* [http://www.unl.edu/amc/a-activities/a7-problems/putnamindex.shtml Putnam Archive] on the [[AMC]] website.
 +
* [http://www.math.niu.edu/~rusin/problems-math/ List of Putnam problem archives]
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* [[List of United States college mathematics competitions]]
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* [[Putnam historical results]]
  
== Resources ==
+
[[Category:Mathematics competitions]]
* [http://www.unl.edu/amc/a-activities/a7-problems/putnam/ Putnam Archive] on the [[AMC]] website.
+
[[Category:Hard Olympiad mathematics competitions]]
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/index.php?f=80 The Putnam Forum] at [[AoPS]].
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/resources.php?c=2&cid=23 Putnam problem and solution database] in the [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/resources.php AoPS Contest Database].
 
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Resources/AoPS_R_A_HowWrite.php How to Write a Solution] by [[Richard Rusczyk]] & [[user:MCrawford | Mathew Crawford]].
 
* [[List of United States college mathematics competitions]]
 

Latest revision as of 16:10, 7 September 2019

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is a highly challenging, proof-oriented mathematics competition for undergraduate students in North America.

Top scoring students on the Putnam exam are named Putnam Fellows.

Putnam
Region: USA
Type: Proof
Difficulty: 7 - 9
Difficulty Breakdown:

Problem A/B, 1/2: 7
Problem A/B, 3/4: 8
Problem A/B, 5/6: 9

Rules

The Putnam Exam is a 6 hour undergraduate exam usually held the first Saturday in December. The test consists of two 3 hour sessions of six problems each with 2 hour lunch break between them. The problems are proof-oriented and written in roughly the same style as high school olympiads are, although they include more advanced mathematics. Each problem is graded on a scale of 0 to 10, but the grades 4–6 are never used. In fact, the grades 3 and 7 are almost never used; a handful of 3s and 7s were used in 2000, but there is no evidence of their use since then. The top five scorers (or more if there are ties) on the exam are named Putnam Fellows.

Each school may have as many students as are interested sit for the exam. Each school's team score is determined by adding the ranks (not the scores) of its top three students, and the team with the lowest point total wins. For example, a school whose top students placed 1st, 2nd and 20th would place lower than a school whose top students placed 6th, 7th and 8th. (In the case of ties, every student is assigned the average of the range of ranks that would have been attained had there been no tie -- that is, if the top three students tie, they are all awarded a rank of $\frac{1 + 2 + 3}{3}=2$.) Before 2019, schools were required to choose their team members in advance, which regularly lead to schools selecting the "wrong team." For example, only two of the six 2007 Putnam fellows were members of their school teams. In some cases this has led to a team placing lower than they would have had they chosen the three team members who went on to score the highest. In recent years, this effect has been particularly noticeable at MIT: in both 2005 and 2006, MIT had three Putnam Fellows (out of six and five, respectively), but did not finish above third place either year.

A person may take the Putnam Exam a maximum of four times. Typically, this means a student may sit each year he or she is an undergraduate, although high school seniors have occasionally taken the exam officially.

Placings and Prizes

The prizes are as follows:

Individuals

  • Putnam fellows, $2,500
  • The next top ten individuals, $1,000
  • Next Ten Individuals , $250
  • Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize- The Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize is awarded periodically to a woman whose performance in the competition is deemed particularly meritorious. This prize would be in addition to any other prize she might otherwise win. Women contestants, to be eligible for this prize, must specify their gender.
    • $1,000

Teams

  • First Place team
    • Team members recieve $1,000
    • School recieves $25,000
  • Second Place Team
    • Team members recieve $800
    • School recieves $20,000
  • Third Place Team
    • Team members recieve $600
    • School recieves $15,000
  • Fourth Place Team
    • Team members recieves $400
    • School recieves $10,000
  • Fifth Place Team
    • Team members recieve $200
    • School recieves $5,000

Problem Books

Resources

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