2014 Putnam Exam
2014 U of I Putnam Team Places in Top 21 Percent
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 75th competition was held on December 6, 2014. The University of Idaho Mathematics Department’s 2014-15 team, consisting of Ben Anzis, Peter Brown, and Matthew Sonnen, placed 90th out of 431 teams, putting them in the top 21 percent. In addition to the three members of the designated University of Idaho team, one other student participated as an individual: Jordan Hardy.
The Putnam exam is notoriously difficult. It consists of only ten problems (five problems in the morning and five more in the afternoon). The problems are difficult enough that the median national score is zero. In other words, most participants in the Putnam exam are not able to solve any of the day's problems. All three members of the University of Idaho team this year scored at least ten points.
All of the participating Idaho students were coached by professor Frank Gao.