Harvey Mudd Students Participate in Putnam Competition

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The results of the nationwide William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition were recently announced. Twenty-five Harvey Mudd College students spent December 2, 2023, taking this very difficult six-hour exam, which requires a unique blend of cleverness and problem-solving skills.

The median score for the competition, in which 3,857 students from 471 institutions participated, was 10 out of a possible 120.

Adam Tang ’26 earned Honorable Mention (awarded to those who place in the Top 100) by placing 49th overall. Tiger Che ’25 and Alan Kappler ’25 placed in the Top 200. Megan Davi ’25, Kai Mawhinney ’25, Daniel Vargas ’25 and Luke Wang ’25 placed in the Top 500.

Elizabeth Lowell Putnam founded the event in 1927 in memory of her husband, William Lowell Putnam, a Harvard graduate and advocate of intercollegiate intellectual competition. Administered by the Mathematical Association of America, the six-hour exam, composed of 12 problems worth 10 points each, has been offered annually since 1938 to regularly enrolled undergraduates in the United States and Canada who have not yet received a college degree.

Harvey Mudd students first participated in the Putnam competition on Dec. 2, 1961. In 1991, the Harvey Mudd team earned third place.