The Putnam Competition

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, hosted by the Mathematical Association of America, is an annual math contest written by undergraduate students across North America.  The top individual prize is $2500 and almost certainly a full scholarship for grad school at any university in the world.  The top team prize is $25000 for the winning university.

The competition is written annually on the first Saturday in December.  Our time zone writes between 8 AM and 4 PM. 

For more info about the contest and its history, see the Official Contest page and the Wikipedia page.

The UFV Putnam Club

The UFV Putnam Club meets weekly during Fall semesters. 

You may attend the meetings without planning to write the contest, and you may write the contest without having attended any of the meetings. In order to write the contest, though, you must be registered as a participant by early October, or take the place of another registered participant by mid-November.

For more info about the UFV Putnam Club meetings, and/or to register as a participant in the 2015 competition, contact Ian Affleck at ian.affleck@ufv.ca

The lucky seven 2014 UFV Putnam Team was:

  • Etienne Dreyer
  • Dillon Duncan
  • Robert Haycock
  • Miranda Louwerse
  • Raynah McIvor
  • Emily Scoular
  • Benjamin Tremblay

The strength-in-numbers 2013 UFV Putnam Team was:

  • Sung il Anh
  • Meldon Deglint
  • Kevin Kobes
  • Miranda Louwerse
  • Brie Mackovic
  • Ryan Peck
  • Emily Scoular
  • Juffrey Suchinsky
  • Kenneth Vanderlinde
  • Aaron Wijngaarden
  • Yulong (David) Zhang

The stealthy 2012 UFV Putnam Team was:

  • Brendan Bulthuis (4th year math major)
  • Aaron Wijngaarden(3rd year math major)

The undeterred 2011 UFV Putnam Team was:

  • Sung il Anh (Grade 9, Yale Secondary School)
  • Christopher Dugdale (4th year math major)
  • Emily Scoular (2nd year math major)
  • Kenneth Vanderlinde (3rd year math major)

The first-come-first-served 2010 UFV Putnam Team was:

  • Evan Cook (2nd year physics major)
  • Slava Minin (4th year computing science major)
  • Kenneth Vanderlinde (2nd year math major)
  • Matthew Wiersma (4th year math major)

Practice Problems

An archive of all Putnam competitions from 1985-2011 with solutions from 1995-2014 can be found here: 

http://kskedlaya.org/putnam-archive/

A discussion forum on some previous problems and solutions can be found here:

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewforum.php?f=80

Books with previous Putnam problems and solutions are available here:

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Store/contests.php?contest=putnam

The following two PDF documents contain some introductory problems, and many of the easier Putnam problems from recent years.  They are a good place to start looking for friendly and do-able problems.  (Thanks to Chris Dugdale for tracking down these documents.)

Course Notes

The following files were compiled by Anna Kuczynska as course notes for the first three main topics that we covered in Fall 2010: The Principle of Mathematical Induction, The Pigeonhole Principle, and Inequalities.

 

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