Putnam Competition


2017 First-Year Student Prize (formerly the Freshman Prize) Information (rescheduled after the snowstorm to Wed. March 22, 2017)

2017 Rochester Olympiad Information (Sat. February 11, 2017)


We will be meeting regularly starting Wednesday Sep. 21, 2016 during the Fall semester at 4:45 in the Malott fifth floor lounge. (Light refreshments will be served.)

Wed. Sep. 21
First Meeting - Introductory information and some "Number Theory ."
Wed. Sep. 28
The Extreme Principle/Symmetry
Wed. Oct. 5
Wed. Oct. 12
Wed. Oct. 19
Series and Continuity
Wed. Oct. 26
Geometric Transformations
Wed. Nov. 2
Linear Algebra
Wed. Nov. 9
Graph Theory
Wed. Nov. 16
Wed. Nov. 30
Algebra (Mostly Groups)

The 2016 Putnam was Saturday Dec 3 from 10 to 1 and 3 to 6 in Malott 251.

A very nice Putnam preparation book is Putnam and Beyond by Razvan Gelca and Titu Andreescu.

On campus, just clicking the above link will get you to the book. Off campus, the following webpages from the Cornell library explain how Cornell Community members can access the book as well:

Other good problem books available this way as well as information about the whole range of newly accessible materials are in the electronic links below: The Math Library has the following (physical) books on reserve during the Fall in a Putnam Section:
  • Putnam and Beyond/ Gelca, Razvan, Andreescu, Titu (Our Prime Reference)
  • The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition problems, solutions, and commentary : 1985-2000 /Kedlaya, Poonen, Vakil (Beautifully Put Together)
  • Problem-solving strategies / Engel (Very Valuable )
  • Problem solving through problems /Larson, Loren C. (Very Valuable)
  • 102 Combinatorial Problems/Andreescu, Titu
  • 103 Trigonometry Problems/Andreescu
  • 104 Number Theory Problems : from the training of the USA IMO team / Andreescu, Titu
  • A First Step to Mathematical Olympiads/ Holton
  • A Second Step to Mathematical Olympiad Problems/ Holton
  • Cauchy-Schwarz Master Class : an introduction to the art of mathematical inequalities / Steele, J. Michael
  • Complex Numbers from A to Z/ Andreescu
  • Differential Equations : A dynamical systems approach / Hubbard, John H.
  • Geometric Problems on Maxima and Minima / Andreescu, Titu
  • Index to Mathematical Problems, 1975-1979 / Rabinowitz
  • Index to Mathematical Problems, 1980-1984 / Rabinowitz
  • Mathematical Olympiad Challenges/Andreescu
  • Number Theory Structures, Examples, and Problems/Andreescu
  • Polynomials / Barbeau, Edward
  • Primer for Mathematics Competitions/ Zawaira
  • The Red Book of Mathematical Problems/ Williams, Kenneth
  • The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition : problems and solutions, 1938-1964 /Gleason
  • The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition Problems and Solutions: 1965-1984/Alexanderson

    Fall 2011 Information about our First Three Practices

    (This might help give you an idea of what you might get out of our regular Wednesday practices.)

    Practice Putnam Exam 2010

    Practice Putnam Exam 2008

    2016's Putnam practices will be organized by Prof. Zakharevich, Prof. Frick, and Dr. Back.

    Last Update: March 16, 2017

    E-mail to
    is one way to be added to our Putnam preparation mailing list and registered for the exam.

    One of the most beautiful Putnam preparation books is the 1985-2000 collection by Kiran S. Kedlaya, Bjorn Poonen, and Ravi Vakil. Available from the MAA or e.g. Amazon.

    Older Materials

    Some Resources

    William Lowell Putnam Competition Archive Backup Site
    Excellent source for solutions 1995-present. (New Backup Site created by Kiran Kedlaya; identified March 2014.)
    John Scholes Putnam Problems
    Huge and amazingly complete, but with rephrasings due to copyright needs, and often brief solutions
    (Original Link http://www.kalva.demon.co.uk/putnam.html no longer working but there is the Wayback machine.)
    Wayback Machine with Archives of the Web from the Past
    John Scholes IMO site
    International Math Olympiad Problems are sometimes at a similar level to Putnam ones.
    (Link to http://www.kalva.demon.co.uk/imo.html no longer working)
    Currently Working Copy of John Scholes Site
    Dave Rusin's Putnam Page
    Official Awards Site
    Official Website for Putnam Competition
    American Mathematical Monthly via JSTOR
    Archives here contain annual writeups (e.g. Oct. 85-87, 89, 93-98) of the competition. More months listed here.
    International Mathematics Competition for University Students (Lots of interesting problems and solutions) (New)
    Prof. Kahan's Berkeley Preparation Notes
    Many years worth in one place.
    International Mathematics Competition for University Students
    Canadian IMO Site
    IMO Compendium
    IMO Compendium Olympiad Training Materials
    Putnam Fellow
    from the Wikipedia. Includes some interesting historical information.

    E-mail to
    will be forwarded to this year's local organizers. (Inna Zakharevich, Florian Frick, and Allen Back)

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