2010 Putnam Exam
Putnam Team Places in Top 12%
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the premier national mathematics contest for undergraduates. Virtually all of the major universities in the United States participate by fielding a three-member team and a number of other students who compete as individuals. The University of Idaho Mathematics Department’s 2009-10 team consisting of Michael Eldridge, Gunnar Miller and Benjamin Coté placed 65th out of 546 teams in this year’s competition, putting them in the top 12%
The Putnam exam is notoriously difficult. It consists of only ten problems each year, five problems in the morning and five more in the afternoon. But the problems are difficult enough that the median score nationally is zero. In other words, most participants in the Putnam exam are not able to solve any of the day's problems. All of the members of the University of Idaho team this year solved at least one complete problem.
In addition to the three members of the designated U-Idaho team this year, math majors Meredith Sargent and Nathan Mazur also participated as individuals. All of the participating Idaho students were coached by Professor Matthew Rudd with an assist by Professor Hunter Snevily.