UI Math Contest Program
News and Announcements
To receive news and announcements about upcoming activities, sign up for the UI Putnam Mailinglist, by sending an email to email@example.com with your email address (i.e., NetID) at illinois.edu. Put "Putnam Mailinglist" in the subject line.
- Poster: Overview of 2012/13 Math Contest Activities.
- 2012 Putnam Results. Results of the 2012 Putnam Contest are in! The top local participant was Danyang Zhuo, who placed among the top 3 percent of all participants. Three additional local participants made the Top 500 list. See the write-up on the 2012 Putnam for additional information and links to problems and solutions. For an interesting discussion of the 2012 Putnam see the 2012 Putnam Forum thread at the Art of Problem Solving website.
- Results of the 2013 UI Undergraduate Math Contest. The 2013 UI Undergraduate Math Contest was held March 2, 2013. The winner, and recipient of the $300 top prize, was Danyang Zhuo, a senior in Engineering. The runner-up prize of $200 went to Zehan Chao, a freshman in Mathematics and Computer Science. See the above link for more information and additional results.
- UI Fall Math Contest Results. The winner of the second annual UI Freshman Math Contest, held Sept. 24, 2012, was Chong Han. Luvsandondov Lkhamsuren and Zubin Pahuja received an Honorable Mention for placing second and third. Brian Freidin and Danyang Zhuo were the co-winners of the UI Mock Putnam Exam, which was held Sept. 26, 2012. Honorable Mention went to the third place finisher, Wenmian Hua. See the above link for more information, and links to contest problems and solutions.
The William Lowell Putnam Competition is an annual student math competition sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America. More than 4000 students from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada participate in this contest each year. The Putnam competition is held simultaneously at participating universities, usually on the first Saturday of December.
The Putnam competition consists of a morning session and an afternoon session of three hours each. In each session, six problems are to be solved. The problems are graded on a 0 - 10 point scale, for a maximal score of 120 points. The problems are challenging and require considerable ingenuity and insight, but little technical knowledge beyond high school mathematics. It is extremely rare that a contestant solves all 12 problems. For example, in the 1996 Putnam competition, the highest score was 98 points, and a score of 10 (the equivalent of a single problem solved correctly) would have placed a contestant among the top third of all 2400 participants! The highest ranking participants from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in recent years have earned scores in the 40 - 60 point range and ranked in the top 100.
The Putnam competition is open to all regularly enrolled undergraduate students; for details on how to enter click on the link below. In addition to the individual competition, there is also a team competition among participating colleges. The team rank of a college is determined by the scores of three participants from that college who have to be named in advance. The team members will, of course, still be ranked as individual contestants. The 25 highest scoring individuals and the five highest scoring teams receive monetary awards. The University of Illinois team has not made it into the money ranks in recent history (the highest rank for the UIUC team was 8th in 1975), but in 2009 one of U of I contestants, Yi-Wei Chan, placed 25th in the individual competition, good for a $250 prize.
- Results of the 2012 Putnam Exam
- The AMC (American Mathematics Competitions) Putnam Archive
- How to enter the Putnam competition
- Sample Putnam problems and solutions
- Books and other resources
- Official Putnamweb site (from Santa Clara University)
- UI team rank and leading scorers since 1970
The UI Mock Putnam Exam is a local version of the Putnam Exam, held each year in early fall. It is similar in format and content to the Putnam competition, but the problems are somewhat easier. The Mock Putnam Exam serves as a practice test for the Putnam Exam, and a key tool in the selection of the U of I Putnam Team. Prizes of up to $300 are available to the top scorer(s).
- Results of the 2012 Mock Putnam Exam
- Problems and solutions of past Mock Putnam exams
- Past winners of the UI Mock Putnam Exam
A new addition to the local math contest offerings, the UI Freshman Math Contest is held in early fall in conjunction with the UI Mock Putnam Exam. Somewhat easier than the Mock Putnam Exam and restricted to Freshmen, the UI Freshman Contest provides incoming students an opportunity to show their problem solving skills in direct competition against their peers.
- Results of the 2012 Freshman Math Contest
- 2012 Freshman Math Contest: Problems
- 2012 Freshman Math Contest: Solutions
Formerly known as the "Orange and Blue Contest", the UI Undergraduate Math Contest is a long-running, locally organized problems contest, held in the latter part of the spring semester. Prizes of up to $300 await the top scorer(s).
- Results of the 2013 UI Undergraduate Math Contest
- Past winners of the UI Undergraduate Math Contest
- Problems and solutions to past UI Undergraduate Math Contests
The UI Putnam Newsletter is an email newsletter containing announcements about the Putnam competition and other contest-related activities at the U of I. The mailing list for the newsletter is maintained by Professor Hildebrand; to be put on this mailing list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address (i.e., NetID) at illinois.edu. Put "Putnam Mailinglist" in the subject line.
Note: This is a local newsletter, with announcements of local events and activities that would be of little interest to those not at the U of I. To keep the mailing list manageable, it is restricted to U of I students and faculty, and an illinois.edu address is required.
Last modified: Mon 22 Apr 2013 11:19:00 AM CDT A.J. Hildebrand