The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the most important undergraduate mathematics competition in North America which takes place in the first Saturday of December. In 2015, there were 4275 contestants from over 500 universities in USA and Canada. Moreover, there were two session of 6 questions each valued at ten points. A list of the problems can be found here. This year one question was so hard, that no-one in the whole nation solved it completely! For more details, please consult Kedlaya's report.
We are excited to let you know that the University of Pittsburgh's official Team (Stefan Ivanovici, Mingzhi Tian and Matthew Smylie) ranked 24th nationally and two of its members, Stefan and Ming, made it to the top 460 of individual scorers. In fact, Stefan made it to the top 200. Derek Orr a Pitt undergraduate student also delivered a fine performance and managed to make it to the top 460. Other participanting students include Alec Jasen, Tommy Bednar, Alex Mang, Jacob Gross, Andrew Tindall, Jack Hafer, and Mark Paulson.
This is the best team performance that Pitt has had since 2002 and represents a extraordinary improvement over just last year, when Pitt ranked 108th nationally. This terrific result reflects the dedication of the students involved as well as that of their mentors, graduate student Cezar Lupu, faculty advisor George Sparling, and several other faculty and graduate students (Gregory Constantine, Bogdan Ion, Kiumars Kaveh and Irina-Roxana Popescu) who coached our students during the Putnam seminar.
The Math Department will be offering the Putnam seminar again this fall to help students train for the 2016 competition. The seminar is 2 credits and if you would to enroll please email Cezar Lupu (firstname.lastname@example.org) or George Sparling (email@example.com) for more information. Information on the 2015 seminar can be found here.