William Lowell Putnam Undergraduate Mathematics Competition

This page is for Rutgers University Undergraduates who are interested in learning more about the Putnam Exam.
Details about the next exam

General Information about the Putnam Exam

The William Lowell Putnam Undergraduate Mathematics Competition is an annual presitigious mathematics contest that is open to all full-time undergraduates in the U.S. and Canada. It offers prizes for individuals and teams. The competition consists of a challenging 6 hour examination that is usually held the first Saturday of December. (Note: if you can't make this time because of religious observance, it may be possible to arrange an alternative time.) The questions are chosen to test ingenuity and insight rather than knowledge of advanced material.

Undergraduates from Rutgers University have participated in the exam for many years. Here are results of Rutgers students past exams .

Additional information including past exams can be found here and here . If you look at old exams, keep in mind that the exam is intended to be very difficult. Only about 1/2 of the students taking the exam get even one problem correct out of the twelve problems in the exam!

There is no cost for participating, and no penalty for participating and doing poorly.

Registration for the exam

If you want to take the exam, you need to register between September 1 and October 1. Send email to swastik@math.rutgers.edu with the header ``Putnam registration'' and include the following information:

Your name

Student number

Expected graduation year

Are you a full time undergraduate?

Do you already have a college degree?

How many times have you taken the Putnam exam before?

Do you require an alternative time because of religious observance?

Students interested in learning some of the problem solving techniques needed for the exam may wish to enroll in (or attend without credit) the Seminar in Mathematical Problem Solving this fall. If you have any questions, contact Professor Swastik Kopparty.