Putnam Mathematical Competition 2011
December 3, 2011;
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, on December 3rd (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.
Problem-Solving Class (Math380)
year, the Putnam Prep will have a different format. Students interested
in taking the exam are greatly encouraged to register for the
special problem-solving class, Math380. 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,
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
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Each Monday from 6-8pm in Padelford
will hold 2-hour long preparation sessions, in which we will discuss
problems, give hints for the homework (for the students taking
Math380), 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.
There will be a diagnostic test on Monday, October 10, from
6-8pm (during the evening preparation session). This test is not
Math380---its purpose is to establish the three members of UW's 2011 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
The Putnam Competition has a very
large student participation----over 3000 undergraduates, each year. The
top 5 scorers receive first prize; traditionally, this is achieved with
around 80 points out of the 120 possible (eight or more problems
solved). Top 200 (which, given the number of participants, is quite a
good ranking!) is much easier to achieve: you only need about 30
points, i.e., three or four problems correctly solved and correctly
written up. Top 100 is usually achieved with 4-5 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.
Members in charge of the Putnam Preparation Sessions and
you wish to participate, you must register by e-mail with one of the
two people above.