The Hamilton Mathletics Team sat for the William Lowell Putnam exam on Saturday, Dec. 5. Coached by Associate Professor of Mathematics Andrew Dykstra, the team had trained for the exam throughout the fall semester and consisted of a record-high number of 20 students: Joshua Biltekoff ’19, Thomas Bisko ’18, Alex Black ’19, Gordon Bogardus ’17, Adam Daniere ’16, Benjamin Drebing ’17, Ningyi Fu ’19, Krishna Kahn ’19, Yongzheng Liang ’19, Paul Magnus ’18, Viktor Mehandzhiyski ’18, Benjamin Oltsik ’19, Peter Skaggs ’16, Andrew Smith ’18, Ryan Tamburrino ’19, William J. Vees ’16, Shanay Wadhwani ’19, Sophia Wang ’19, Haoxiang Yang ’18, and Chenchen Zhao ’18.
The William Lowell Putnam exam is the most famous undergraduate mathematics competition in the country. The exam is so challenging that most years the national median score is zero out of 120 possible points. Despite these odds, the Hamilton team has done very well in recent years. The team managed to win the Snow Bowl competition (a friendly competition with Colgate, Skidmore, and St. Lawrence) in three consecutive years (2010, 2011, and 2012) before being just edged out by Colgate in the most recent two years. In 2012, the team earned a rank of #42 out of all colleges and universities in the US and Canada, which was Hamilton’s second highest rank since their legendary #29 rank in 1995. Final results from this year’s exam won’t be known until March, but with the record-high student participation this year, Professor Dykstra is confident that the team will post a strong result.