The Putnam Mathematical Competition, offered each year by the Mathematical Association of America, began in 1938, and is open to undergraduate students in the United States and Canada. The six-hour test is administered on the first Saturday in December. Roughly 4,000 students typically participate.
In this year’s competition, UW CSE junior Will Johnson finished sixth – an extraordinary performance. (In a typical year, more than half of the competitors earn a grand total of zero points. Will scored 99 – the top score of any student at a public university.)
Two other University of Washington students finished in the top 500, including UW CSE freshman Keyun Tong.
Each institution also selects three students to compete as a team. The UW team, which included UW CSE junior Igor Tolkov as well as Johnson, finished 15th out of 405 teams.
UW CSE senior Michael Rutherford also competed.
Great coaching makes a big difference; UW Putnam participants were coached by Mathematics professors Ioana Dumitriu and Julia Pevtsova.
See a University Week article here.