Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

  • The Hornet and Inside Fullerton are on summer break and will return on August 26, 2024. Please send any tips or inquiries to Jessica Langlois at [email protected].

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Fullerton College Prepares for National Math Competition

On Saturday, December 3, Fullerton College will be hosting the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition in Room 618 from 7:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The annual mathematics competition is held for college and university students across the United States for awards scholarships with cash prizes up to $2,500.

Those with the top 10 scores win waived tuitions to Harvard University, and the top 100 have their names mentioned by rank to the most influential universities in the nation.

William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition
The competition was created in Putnam's honor by his wife. Photo credit: Facebook

It’s only open to undergraduate college and university students, in the United States and Canada, that have not yet received a degree. Students are allowed to take the exam only four times.

Divided into two segments, the first half of the test is taken in the morning and the second during the afternoon.

The exam consists of 120 enigmatic math questions, some of which most math students can figure out with ease, while others are left scratching their heads. All students are not expected to be able to answer every question completely.

Items prohibited to the test include: scientific and graphing calculators, books, notes, tables and any reference material.

Each question is worth 10 points, and to earn full credit students must not only get the answer correct but also show all of their work, like on nearly all math exams. Scratch paper will be supplied during the exam.

The best way to cram the exam is to study older versions of the test on Kiran Kidlaya’s Putnam Archive.

Founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam, the exam was created to commemorate her husband William, who was a believer in the idea of intercollegiate intellectual competition. The exam has been offered annually since 1938.

FC alumni with recent top scores include Eva Zhang, who score a 12 and Nicholas Sterns who scored 9.

For more information on the exam contact Prof. Dana Clahane or Prof. Bill Cowieson of Fullerton College’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

All The Hornet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • P

    pictionary ideasNov 27, 2016 at 11:00 am

    great prize! It’s nice that clever students can win a scholarship.