ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SIXTY-NINTH ANNUAL
WILLIAM LOWELL PUTNAM MATHEMATICAL COMPETITION
Students who enjoy mathematics might like to participate in this year's Putnam competition. The national competitive examination will be given on Saturday 6 December, as usual in two parts: the first half (six problems) from 10 am to 1 pm, the second half (also six problems) from 3 pm to 6 pm. Here at UConn it will be administered in room 118 of the Mathematical Sciences Building.
In the past, the Putnam has taken place over a week before UConn final exams. Unfortunately, this year it will happen only two days before finals. Those who plan to take the Putnam exam should plan their end-of-semester studying accordingly.
The Putnam exam consists of a dozen interesting and challenging problems. Typically, over 3,000 students from over 400 colleges and universities participate in the competition. Individual and team prizes are awarded nationally, and here at UConn we give prizes to our students who perform well on the Putnam.
Some of the problems can be done with no post-secondary background whatsoever, but that doesn't make them easy, no matter how much math you've taken. At UConn most of us stay over the two-hour break between halves, chatting about the morning problems over pizza and soft drinks supplied by the Math Department. A good time is had by all; even those who eventually score few points enjoy coming to grips with some of the Putnam problems.
All enrolled undergraduates who have not yet received a college degree and have not yet taken four Putnam exams are eligible. Interested students should sign up on a sign-up sheet that has been posted outside the Math Department receptionist's office (MSB 102) by Tuesday 7 October 2008.
There is much information available online about the competition and its history. In particular, many past exams and solutions can be found in the William Lowell Putnam Competition Archive. Also, late each year the results, problems and solutions of the previous December's competition are published in the American Mathematical Monthly, available in the Mathematics Department reading room.
The following is quoted verbatim from this year's national Putnam announcement:
Students who for religious reasons cannot take the examination at the scheduled hours may take the examination after sundown on December 6, upon request by the supervisor and approval of the Director. Such students must remain under the supervision of a faculty member, rabbi, or clergyman from the official starting time for that time zone on the day of the examination.
Further information can be obtained from Professor S. J. Sidney, MSB 223, 486-3443.