The Putnam Mathematical Competition

at UW

Date of Competition
First Saturday of December;
session A from 8-11am, session B from 1-4pm.

Lunch will be provided for contestants between 11am and 1pm.

If your religious beliefs prevent you from taking the contest on a Saturday, you may take
the test after sundown the day before (we will have to ask for permission from the Contest
Directors, but they generally grant such requests, if submitted in a timely fashion). You will
have to make arrangements to stay under the supervision of a rabbi or clergyman from
8am on the day of the contest.
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Problem-Solving Class (Math342)

Students interested in taking the exam are greatly encouraged to register for  the special problem-solving class, Math342. Taking the class will involve mainly homework and board presentations, and will be a fun way to connect to and work with like-minded, mathematically inclined people, and learning problem-solving skills in a more disciplined environment. For more information on this class, click here.

You may also audit the class, but keep in mind that the true benefit of taking the class will be solving homework problems and learning how to present solutions, and that you are therefore better of by registering for it. We will not grade solutions for people not officially registered.

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Putnam Preparation Sessions

Each Monday from 6-8pm in Padelford C-36 we will hold 2-hour long preparation sessions, in which we will discuss problems, give hints for the homework (for the students taking Math342), solve Putnam problems, etc. If you are interested in the contest but not registered for the class, you definitely should try and attend these Monday evening sessions.

IMPORTANT! There will be a diagnostic test on the second Monday of the Fall quarter, from 6-8pm (during the evening preparation session). This test is not connected to Math342---its purpose is to establish the three members of UW's 2018 team. You MUST come to the test if you wish to be on the team; however, since the Putnam is both an individual and a team competition, not making the team does not prevent you in any way from participating individually.

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Important facts to consider

The Putnam Competition has a very large student participation----over 4000 undergraduates, each year. The top 5 scorers receive first prize; traditionally, this is achieved with around 90+ points out of the 120 possible. Top 200 (which, given the number of participants, is quite a good ranking!) is much easier to achieve: you only need about 40+ points, i.e., four problems correctly solved and correctly written up. Top 100 is usually achieved with five problems. Consider this: you get two three-hour sessions, each with six problems to choose from, and all you need to do to achieve a really good ranking is solve a couple of them during each session. smiley

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Problem Sets

Useful links:

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Faculty Members
in charge of the Putnam Preparation Sessions and Contest Administration:

IMPORTANT! If you wish to participate, you must register by e-mail with one of the two people above.

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