The Hamilton Mathletics team won first place in the annual Snow Bowl competition, edging out teams from Colgate University, Skidmore College and St. Lawrence University. Each team’s top five scores on the William Lowell Putnam Exam, given in December, were added together to determine the winner.
Twenty students were part of Hamilton’s team: seniors Adam Daniere, Peter Skaggs and William J. Vees; juniors Gordon Bogardus and Benjamin Drebing; sophomores Thomas Bisko, Paul Magnus, Viktor Mehandzhiyski, Andrew Smith, Haoxiang Yang and Chenchen Zhao; and first-year students Joshua Biltekoff, Alex Black, Ningyi Fu, Krishna Kahn, Yongzheng Liang, Benjamin Oltsik, Ryan Tamburrino, Shanay Wadhwani and Sophia Wang.
Coached by Associate Professor of Mathematics Andrew Dykstra, the team trained for the Putnam Exam, a six-hour written test, throughout the fall semester.
Dykstra said, “As they are every year, the 12 problems on this year’s exam were some of the most challenging undergraduate mathematics problems imaginable. The exam is so challenging that, in a typical year, the national median individual score is zero out of 120 points possible.
“It is considered a tremendous accomplishment that seven of the Hamilton students who took the Putnam Exam managed to earn positive scores,” he added.