Announcement for the 2016 Putnam Competition

Students who enjoy mathematics might like to participate in this year’s Putnam competition. The national competitive examination will be given on (Saturday) December 3, 2016 in two parts: the first half (six problems) from 10 am to 1 pm, the second half (also six problems) from 3 pm to 6 pm. Here at UConn it will be administered in the Monteith building.

The Putnam exam consists of a dozen interesting and challenging problems. Typically, about 4,000 students from over 500 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada participate in the competition. Individual and team prizes area awarded nationally, and here at UConn we give prizes to our students who perform well on the Putnam. Some of the problems can be done with no post-secondary background whatsoever, but that doesn’t make them easy, no matter how much math you’ve taken. At UConn most of us stay over the two-hour break between halves, chatting about the morning problems over pizza and soft drinks supplied by the Math Department. A good time is had by all; even those who eventually score few points enjoy coming to grips with some of the Putnam problems.

All enrolled undergraduates who have not yet received a college degree and have not yet taken four Putnam exams are eligible. Interested students should send an e-mail to giving name and peoplesoft number by Saturday, October 1, 2016.

There is much information available online about the competition and its history. In particular, many past exams and solutions can be found in the William Lowell Putnam Competition Archive. Also, late each year the results, problems and solutions of the previous December’s competition are published in the American Mathematical Monthly, available in the Mathematics Department reading room.

The following paragraph is quoted verbatim from this year’s national Putnam announcement: Students who for religious reasons cannot take the examination at the scheduled hours may take the examination after sundown on December 3, upon request by the supervisor and approval of the Director. Such students must remain under the supervision of a faculty member, rabbi, or clergyman from the official starting time for that time zone on the day of the examination.

For further information, please contact Ovidiu Munteanu (Mont. 434)