Fifteen students from the Hamilton Mathletics Team sat for the William Lowell Putnam exam on Dec. 7. The team included Julian Aronowitz ’14, Sitong Chen ’16, Jill Chipman ’14, Maxwell Coleman ’17, Benjamin Drebing ’17, Kevin Gens ’17, Robert Huben ’15, Ujjwal Pradhan ’15, Sunrose Shrestha ’14, Minhoon Sohn ’15, Jacob Taylor ’14, Peter Talpey ’14, Dominic Veconi ’15, Josh Wilding ‘15 and Risheng Zeng ’16.
The students trained for the exam throughout the fall semester under the direction of Assistant Professors of Mathematics Andrew Dykstra and Courtney Gibbons.
Administered by the Mathematical Association of America, the William Lowell Putnam exam is an undergraduate mathematics competition that tests originality and technical competence. According to its website, the competition is “designed to stimulate a healthful rivalry in mathematical studies in the colleges and universities of the United States and Canada.”
The exam is so challenging that most years the national median score is zero out of 120 possible points. Dykstra said that “despite these odds, the Hamilton team has done incredibly well in recent years. In fact,” he added, “the team managed to win the Snow Bowl competition, a friendly competition with Colgate, Skidmore and St. Lawrence, in each of the past three years.”
Last year, the team earned an overall ranking of #42 – Hamilton’s second highest placement since the team’s #29 ranking in 1995. Results from this year’s exam will be available in March of 2014.