2021 YorkU Putnam Training

General Information on the Putnam:
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the United States and Canada. The Putnam Competition takes place annually on the first Saturday of December (December 4th this year, which is before final examinations :D). The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During each session, participants work individually on 6 challenging mathematical problems.

The Putnam began in 1938 as a competition between mathematics departments at colleges and universities. Now the competition has grown to be the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world. Although participants work independently on the problems, there is a team aspect to the competition as well. Each institution with at least three participants identifies three participants who comprise its team. Prizes are awarded to the participants with the highest scores and to the departments of mathematics of the five institutions whose teams obtain the highest rankings.

The competition is open only to regularly enrolled undergraduates, in colleges and universities of the United States and Canada, who have not yet received a college degree. No individual may participate in the competition more than four times. Each problem is graded on a basis of 0 to 10 points. All the necessary work to justify an answer and all the necessary steps of a proof must be shown clearly to obtain full credit. Some partial credit may be given, but only when a contestant has shown significant and substantial progress toward a solution.

COVID Update:
At this time, the Putnam Mathematics Competition will run as normal; that is, an in-person examination on campus.  Please be sure to let me know if you are planning to participate in the competition so we can prepare in advance to ensure all public health guidelines are followed.

To register for the competition, please go to https://artofproblemsolving.com/contests/putnam/student and select York University as your institution.  Please register for the competition only when you are sure you will be taking the in-person competition.  Please decide whether you are going to participate by October 22nd (if you are unsure by that date, please let me know).

Training Sessions:

The YorkU training sessions for the 2021 Putnam Competition will be held online via Zoom due to public health restrictions.  Starting September 21st, training sessions will be held every Tuesday from 2:30PM to 4PM.  Please contact me in order to obtain the Zoom link for the sessions.  Recordings of the Zoom sessions will be posted after the fact in case students cannot attend a particular meeting.

Each training session will centre around a specific mathematical theme.  We will begin with discussing necessary concepts, techniques, and strategies, and a set of related problems will be given.  Students will have some time to solve the problems during the session and the instructor will try and aid each student in developing their problem solving skills.  Students should attempt to solve the remaining problems at home.  The session will end with students presenting solutions to the problems from either the current or previous session.

Training Materials and Zoom Session Recordings:

Training materials will be available as the training sessions progress.  Passport York login is required for all videos.
Day 1 Information Handout
September 21   - Concepts   Problems   Video
September 28   - Concepts   Problems   Video
October 5           - Concepts   Problems   Video
October 19        - Concepts   Problems   Video
October 26        - Concepts   Problems   Video
November 2      - Concepts   Problems   Video
November 9      - Concepts   Problems   Video
November 16    - Concepts   Problems   Video
November 23    - Concepts   Problems   Video (This video was corrupted.  Sorry!)
November 30    -                                           Video

Additional Resources:

Putnam Webpage
John Schole's Website contains all problems and solutions to the Putnam exams between 1938 and 2003.
Kiran Kedlaya's Website contains all problems and solutions to the Putnam exams between 1995 and the present.