Organizers: Benedek Valko, Uri Andrews, Brian Rice
The Putnam Exam, offered by the Mathematical Association of America, is the premier American math competition for undergraduate students. It is given each year on the first Saturday in December. The exam consists of 12 problems, 6 in the 3 hour morning session and 6 in the 3 hour afternoon session. Each problem is worth 10 points, so the maximum score is 120. National winners usually get around 100 points. The median score is generally around 0-2 points. This is a difficult exam with many interesting and fun problems.
The Putnam Club will help you prepare for the exam by practicing on problems from previous years and other olympiad-style problems. This year, the Putnam Club will meet on Tuesdays from 5:30-7:00 PM, beginning on September 11, in room B139 Van Vleck Hall. After the first week, problem sets will appear here roughly one week before we discuss them, as well as being handed out in the previous week's meeting. It is not necessary to solve any problems to come to the meeting, but you are encouraged to spend time working on them.
Partway through the semester we will hold a Mock Putnam exam to help us determine the official team members. Details will be announced at a later date.
Brian Rice is running the seminar each week unless otherwise noted.
- September 11: Introduction Problems
- September 18: Some Basic Techniques Problems
- September 25: Polynomials and Algebra Problems
- October 2: Number Theory Problems
- September 21: Pigeonhole Principle (Brian Rice) Problems
- September 28: Introduction to Counting (Brian Rice) Problems
- October 5: Elementary Number Theory (Brian Rice) Problems, Problems (Hardcore)
- October 12: Polynomials (Brian Rice) Problems, Problems (Hardcore)
- October 19: A Grab Bag of Discrete Math (Brian Rice) Problems
- October 26: Calculus, Week 1 (Brian Rice) Problems
- November 2: Calculus, Week 2 (Brian Rice) Problems
- November 9: Linear and Abstract Algebra (Brian Rice) Problems
- November 16: Mock Putnam Problems, Solutions