William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, often abbreviated to the Putnam Competition, is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate college students of the United States and Canada, awarding scholarships and cash prizes ranging from $250 to $2,500 for the top students and $5,000 to $25,000 for the top schools. The competition was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband William Lowell Putnam, who, while alive, was an advocate of intercollegiate intellectual competition. The exam has been offered annually since 1938 and is administered by the Mathematical Association of America.

Current Competition layout

The Putnam competition now takes place on the first Saturday in December, and consists of two three-hour sittings separated by a lunch break. Each competitor attempts to solve twelve problems, which can typically be solved with only basic knowledge of college mathematics but which require extensive creative thinking.

Each of the twelve questions is worth 10 points, and the most frequent scores above zero are 10 points, for a complete solution; 9 points, for a nearly complete solution; and 1 point, for the beginnings of a solution. In earlier years, the twelve questions were worth one point each, with absolutely no partial credit given. The examination is considered to be very difficult: it is typically attempted by students specializing in mathematics, but the median score is usually one or two points out of 120 possible, and there have been only three perfect scores as of 2005. In 2003, of the 3,615 students taking the exam, 1024 (28%) scored 10 or more points, and 42 points was sufficient to make the top 102.

At a participating college, as many students as wish to take part in the exam may compete; but the school's official team consists of three individuals whom it designates in advance. Team scoring is analogous to that used in cross-country running: a team's score is the sum of the ranks of its three team members, with the lowest team score winning. It is entirely possible, even commonplace at some institutions, for the eventual results to show that the "wrong" team was picked — i.e., that some students not on the official team outscored an official team member. For example, in 2006, MIT had three of the top five scorers on the examination and nine of the top fifteen, while Princeton had just two students in the top fifteen; but Princeton took first place among teams while MIT took third.

The top five teams win $25,000, $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000, in that order, with team members receiving $1,000, $800, $600, $400, and $200, respectively.

The top five individual scorers are named Putnam Fellows and awarded $2,500. One of them is also awarded the William Lowell Putnam Prize Scholarship of $12,000 plus tuition for graduate study at Harvard University. Sixth through 15th place individuals receive $1,000 and the next ten receive $250. The names of the top 100 students are published in the American Mathematical Monthly.

The competition is held on the first Saturday in December, most recently December 1, 2007. The 2008 exam will be held on December 6.

Many contestants have gone on to become distinguished researchers in mathematics and other fields, including three Fields MedalistsMilnor, Mumford, and Quillen — and two Nobel Prize winners in Physics — Feynman and Wilson.


Top-scoring teams

1938 Toronto  UC Berkeley  Columbia 
1939 Brooklyn College  MIT  Mississippi Woman's 
1940 Toronto  Yale  Columbia 
1941 Brooklyn College  UPenn  MIT 
1942 Toronto  Yale  MIT  City College of NY 
1946 Toronto  MIT  Brooklyn College  Carnegie Tech 
1947 Harvard  Yale  Columbia  UPenn 
1948 Brooklyn College  Toronto  Harvard City College of NY  and  McGill
1949 Harvard  Toronto  Carnegie Tech  City College of NY 
1950 Caltech  Harvard  NYU  Toronto 
1951 Cornell  Harvard  Cooper Union  City College of NY 
1952 Queen's  Brooklyn Polytech  Harvard  MIT 
1953 Harvard  City College of NY  Cornell  UC Berkeley 
1954 Cornell  Harvard  MIT  Toronto 
1955 Harvard  Toronto  Yale  Kenyon 
1956 Harvard  Columbia  Queen's  MIT 
1957 Harvard  Columbia  Cornell  Caltech 
1958 (Spring) Brooklyn Polytech  Harvard  Toronto  Manitoba 
1958 (Fall) Harvard  Toronto  Caltech  Cornell 
1959 Brooklyn Polytech  Caltech  Toronto  Harvard  Case Tech 
1960 UC Berkeley  Harvard  MIT  Michigan State  Cornell 
1961 Michigan State  MIT  Caltech  Harvard  Dartmouth 
1962 Caltech  Dartmouth  Harvard  Queen's  UCLA 
1963 Michigan State  Brooklyn College  UPenn  Caltech  MIT 
1964 Caltech  MIT  Harvard  Case Tech  UC Berkeley 
1965 Harvard  MIT  Toronto  Princeton  Caltech 
1966 Harvard  MIT  Chicago  Michigan  Princeton 
1967 Michigan State  Caltech  Harvard  MIT  Michigan 
1968 MIT  Waterloo  UCLA  Michigan State  Kansas 
1969 MIT  Rice  Chicago  Harvard  Yale 
1970 Chicago  MIT  Toronto  Illinois Tech  Caltech 
1971 Caltech  Chicago  Harvard  UC Davis  MIT 
1972 Caltech  Oberlin  Harvard  Swarthmore  MIT 
1973 Caltech  British Columbia  Chicago  Harvard  Princeton 
1974 Waterloo  Chicago  Caltech  MIT  British Columbia 
1975 Caltech  Chicago  MIT  Princeton  Harvard 
1976 Caltech  Washington U in StL  Princeton Case Western Reserve  and  MIT
1977 Washington U in StL  UC Davis  Caltech  Princeton  MIT 
1978 Case Western Reserve  Washington U in StL  Waterloo  Harvard  Caltech 
1979 MIT  Caltech  Princeton  Stanford  Waterloo 
1980 Washington U in StL  Harvard  Maryland  Chicago  UC Berkeley 
1981 Washington U in StL  Princeton  Harvard  Stanford  Maryland 
1982 Harvard  Waterloo  Caltech  Yale  Princeton 
1983 Caltech  Washington U in StL  Waterloo  Princeton  Chicago 
1984UC Davis  and  Washington U in StL Harvard  Princeton  Yale 
1985 Harvard  Princeton  UC Berkeley  Rice  Waterloo 
1986 Harvard  Washington U in StL  UC Berkeley  Yale  MIT 
1987 Harvard  Princeton  Carnegie Mellon  UC Berkeley  MIT 
1988 Harvard  Princeton  Rice  Waterloo  Caltech 
1989 Harvard  Princeton  Waterloo  Yale  Rice 
1990 Harvard  Duke  Waterloo  Yale  Washington U in StL 
1991 Harvard  Waterloo  Harvey Mudd  Stanford  Yale 
1992 Harvard  Toronto  Waterloo  Princeton  Cornell 
1993 Duke  Harvard  Miami University  MIT  Michigan 
1994 Harvard  Cornell  MIT  Princeton  Waterloo 
1995 Harvard  Cornell  MIT  Toronto  Princeton 
1996 Duke  Princeton  Harvard  Washington U in StL  Caltech 
1997 Harvard  Duke  Princeton  MIT  Washington U in StL 
1998 Harvard  MIT  Princeton  Caltech  Waterloo 
1999 Waterloo  Harvard  Duke  Michigan  Chicago 
2000 Duke  MIT  Harvard  Caltech  Toronto 
2001 Harvard  MIT  Duke  UC Berkeley  Stanford 
2002 Harvard  Princeton  Duke  UC Berkeley  Stanford 
2003 MIT  Harvard  Duke  Caltech  Harvey Mudd 
2004 MIT  Princeton  Duke  Waterloo  Caltech 
2005 Harvard  Princeton  Duke  MIT  Waterloo 
2006 Princeton  Harvard  MIT  Toronto  Chicago 
2007 Harvard  Princeton  MIT  Stanford  Duke 

Teams ranked by historical performance

Below is a table of teams by the number of appearances in the top five and number of titles. Where multiple teams have the same number of appearances in the top five, they are ranked by number of championships, and then listed in alphabetical order.

The following table lists Teams finishing in Top Five (as of 2007 competition):

Top FiveTeam (s)
53 Harvard 
38 MIT 
28 Caltech 
26 Princeton 
18 Toronto 
17 Waterloo 
12 Duke 
11 Chicago, Washington U in StL, Yale 
9 UC Berkeley, Cornell 
6 Stanford 
5 Brooklyn College, City College of NY, Michigan State 
4 Case Western Reserve (including former Case Tech), Columbia, Michigan, Rice 
3 Brooklyn Polytech, UC Davis, Carnegie Mellon (including former Carnegie Tech), Queen's, UPenn 
2 British Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvey Mudd, Maryland, UCLA 
1 Cooper Union, Illinois Tech, Kansas, Kenyon, Manitoba, McGill, Miami University,
 Mississippi Woman's, NYU, Oberlin College, Swarthmore 

The following table lists teams that finished in the top five since 1990 (as of 2007 competition):

Top FiveTeam (s)
17 Harvard 
12 Duke, MIT  
11 Princeton 
8 Waterloo 
5 Caltech 
4 Stanford, Toronto  
3 Cornell, Washington U in StL 
2 Chicago, UC Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, University of Michigan, Yale  
1 Miami University 

The following table lists Teams with First place finishes (as of 2007 competition):

First placeTeam (s)
26 Harvard 
9 Caltech 
5 MIT 
4 Toronto,Washington U in StL 
3 Brooklyn College, Duke, Michigan State 
2 Brooklyn Polytech, Cornell, Waterloo 
1 UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Case Western Reserve, Chicago, Princeton, Queen's 

Putnam Fellows

Since the first competition, the top five (or six, in case of a tie) scorers on the examination have been named Putnam Fellows. Within the top five, Putnam Fellows are not ranked. Students are not allowed to participate in the Putnam Competition more than four times. For example, if a high school senior chooses to officially participate, he/she effectively chooses to forfeit one of his/her years of eligibility in college (see Gabriel D. Carroll). This makes it even more of a remarkable feat to become a Putnam Fellow four times. In the history of Competition, only seven students have been Putnam Fellows four times, with sixteen others winning the award three times. The following table lists these students:

 Don Coppersmith  MIT  1968  1969  1970  1971 
 Arthur Rubin  Purdue, Caltech  1970  1971  1972  1973 
 Bjorn Poonen  Harvard  1985  1986  1987  1988 
 Ravi D. Vakil  Toronto  1988  1989  1990  1991 
 Gabriel D. Carroll  UC Berkeley, Harvard  2000  2001  2002  2003 
 Reid W. Barton  MIT  2001  2002  2003  2004 
 Daniel Kane  MIT  2003  2004  2005  2006 
 Edward L. Kaplan  Carnegie Tech  1939  1940  1941 
 Andrew M. Gleason  Yale  1940  1941  1942 
 Donald J. Newman  City College of NY  1948  1949  1950 
 James B. Herreshoff IV  UC Berkeley  1951  1952  1953 
 Samuel Jacob Klein  City College of NY  1953  1959  1960 
 Randall L. Dougherty  UC Berkeley  1978  1979  1980 
 Eric D. Carlson  Michigan State  1980  1982  1983 
 David W. Ash  Waterloo  1981  1982  1983 
 Noam D. Elkies  Columbia  1982  1983  1984 
 David J. Grabiner  Princeton  1986  1987  1988 
 David J. Moews  Harvard  1986  1987  1988 
 J. P. Grossman  Toronto  1993  1994  1995 
 Kiran S. Kedlaya  Harvard  1993  1994  1995 
 Lenhard L. Ng  Harvard  1993  1994  1995 
 Ciprian Manolescu  Harvard  1997  1998  2000 
 Aaron C. Pixton  Princeton  2004  2005  2007 

The following table lists all Putnam fellows from 1938 to present, with the years they placed in the top five.

Name (Team)Year (s)
 George W. Mackey (Rice)  1938 
 Irving Kaplansky (Toronto)  1938 
 Michael J. Norris (College of St. Thomas 1938 
 Robert W. Gibson (Fort Hays Kansas State 1938 
 Bernard Sherman (Brooklyn College)  1938, 1939 
 Abraham Hillman (Brooklyn College)  1939 
 Richard P. Feynman (MIT)  1939 
 William Nierenberg (City College of NY)  1939 
 Edward L. Kaplan (Carnegie Tech)  1939, 1940, 1941 
 John Cotton Maynard (Toronto)  1940 
 Robert Maughan Snow (George Washington 1940 
 W. J. R. Crosby (Toronto)  1940 
 Andrew M. Gleason (Yale)  1940, 1941, 1942 
 Paul C. Rosenbloom (UPenn)  1941 
 Richard F. Arens (UCLA)  1941 
 Samuel I. Askovitz (UPenn)  1941 
 Harold Victor Lyons (Toronto)  1942 
 Harvey Cohn (City College of NY)  1942 
 Melvin A. Preston (Toronto)  1942 
 Warren S. Loud (MIT)  1942 
 Donald A. Fraser (Toronto)  1946 
 Eugenio Calabi (MIT)  1946 
 Felix Browder (MIT)  1946 
 J. Arthur Greenwood (Harvard)  1946 
 Maxwell A. Rosenlicht (Columbia)  1946, 1947 
 Clarence Wilson Hewlett, Jr. (Harvard)  1947 
 William Turanski (UPenn)  1947 
 Eoin L. Whitney (Alberta 1947, 1948 
 W. Forrest Stinespring (Harvard)  1947, 1949 
 George F. D. Duff (Toronto)  1948 
 Harry Gonshor (McGill)  1948 
 Leonard Geller (Brooklyn College)  1948 
 Robert L. Mills (Columbia)  1948 
 Donald J. Newman (City College of NY)  1948, 1949, 1950 
 Ariel Zemach (Harvard)  1949 
 David L. Yarmush (Harvard)  1949 
 John W. Milnor (Princeton)  1949, 1950 
 John P. Mayberry (Toronto)  1950 
 Richard J. Semple (Toronto)  1950 
 Z. Alexander Melzak (British Columbia)  1950 
 Arthur P. Dempster (Toronto)  1951 
 Harold Widom (City College of NY)  1951 
 Herbert C. Kranzer (NYU)  1951 
 Peter John Redmond (Cooper Union)  1951 
 James B. Herreshoff IV (UC Berkeley)  1951, 1952, 1953 
 Eugene R. Rodemich (Washington U in StL)  1952 
 Gerhard Rayna (Harvard)  1952 
 Richard G. Swan (Princeton)  1952 
 Walter L. Bailey, Jr. (MIT)  1952 
 Marshall L. Freimer (Harvard)  1953 
 Norman Bauman (Harvard)  1953 
 Tai Tsun Wu (Minnesota 1953 
 Samuel Jacob Klein (City College of NY)  1953, 1959, 1960 
 Benjamin Muckenhoupt (Harvard)  1954 
 James Daniel Bjorken (MIT)  1954 
 Leonard Evens (Cornell)  1954 
 William P. Hanf (UC Berkeley)  1954 
 Kenneth G. Wilson (Harvard)  1954, 1956 
 Howard C. Rumsey, Jr. (Caltech)  1955 
 Jack Towber (Brooklyn College)  1955 
 David B. Mumford (Harvard)  1955, 1956 
 Trevor Barker (Kenyon)  1955, 1956 
 Everett C. Dade (Harvard)  1955, 1957 
 Richard Michael Friedberg (Harvard)  1956 
 David M. Bloom (Columbia)  1956, 1957 
 J. Ian Richards (Minnesota)  1957 
 Richard T. Bumby (MIT)  1957 
 Rohit J. Parikh (Harvard)  1957 
 David R. Brillinger (Toronto)  Spring 1958 
 Donald J. C. Bures (Queen's)  Spring 1958 
 Lawrence A. Shepp (Brooklyn Polytech)  Spring 1958 
 Richard M. Dudley (Harvard)  Spring 1958 
 Joseph Lipman (Toronto)  Spring 1958, Fall 1958 
 Alan Gaisford Waterman (San Diego State Fall 1958 
 John Rex Forrester Hewett (Toronto)  Fall 1958 
 Robin C. Hartshorne (Harvard)  Fall 1958 
 Alfred W. Hales (Caltech)  Fall 1958, 1959 
 Daniel G. Quillen (Harvard)  1959 
 Donald Passman (Brooklyn Polytech)  1959 
 Donald S. Gorman (Harvard)  1959 
 Martin Isaacs (Brooklyn Polytech)  1959 
 Stephen L. Adler (Harvard)  1959 
 Stephen Lichtenbaum (Harvard)  1959 
 Jon H. Folkman (UC Berkeley)  1960 
 Louis Jaeckel (UCLA)  1960 
 Melvin Hochster (Harvard)  1960 
 William R. Emerson (Caltech)  1960 
 Barry Wolk (Manitoba)  1961 
 Elwyn R. Berlekamp (MIT)  1961 
 Edward Anton Bender (Caltech)  1961, 1962 
 John Hathaway Lindsey (Caltech)  1961, 1962 
 William C. Waterhouse (Harvard)  1961, 1962 
 John William Wood (Harvard)  1962 
 Robert S. Strichartz (Dartmouth)  1962 
 Joel H. Spencer (MIT)  1963 
 Lawrence A. Zalcman (Dartmouth)  1963 
 Lawrence J. Corwin (Harvard)  1963 
 Robert E. Greene (Michigan State)  1963 
 Stephen E. Crick, Jr. (Michigan State)  1963 
 Barry B. MacKichan (Harvard)  1964 
 Fred William Roush (North Carolina 1964 
 Roger E. Howe (Harvard)  1964 
 Rufus (Robert) Bowen (UC Berkeley)  1964, 1965 
 Vern Poythress (Caltech)  1964 
 Andreas R. Blass (Detroit 1965 
 Barry Simon (Harvard)  1965 
 Daniel Fendel (Harvard)  1965 
 Lon M. Rosen (Toronto)  1965 
 Marshall W. Buck (Harvard)  1966 
 Robert E. Maas (Santa Clara 1966 
 Robert S. Winternitz (MIT)  1966 
 Theodore C. Chang (MIT)  1966 
 Richard C. Schroeppel (MIT)  1966, 1967 
 David R. Haynor (Harvard)  1967 
 Dennis A. Hejhal (Chicago)  1967 
 Don B. Zagier (MIT)  1967 
 Peter L. Montgomery (UC Berkeley)  1967 
 Dean G. Huffman (Yale)  1968 
 Gerald S. Gras (MIT)  1968 
 Neal Koblitz (Harvard)  1968 
 Gerald A. Edgar (UC Santa Barbara 1968, 1969 
 Don Coppersmith (MIT)  1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 
 Alan R. Beale (Rice)  1969 
 Steven Winkler (MIT)  1969 
 Robert A. Oliver (Chicago)  1969, 1970 
 Jeffrey Lagarias (MIT)  1970 
 Jockum Aniansson (Yale)  1970 
 Steven K. Winkler (MIT)  1970 
 Arthur Rubin (Purdue, Caltech)  1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 
 Dale Peterson (Yale)  1971 
 David Shucker (Swarthmore)  1971 
 Robert Israel (Chicago)  1971 
 Michael Yoder (Caltech)  1971, 1972 
 Arthur Rothstein (Reed 1972 
 David Vogan (Chicago)  1972 
 Dean Hickerson (UC Davis)  1972 
 Ira Gessel (Harvard)  1972 
 Angelos J. Tsirimokos (Princeton)  1973 
 Matthew L. Ginsberg (Wesleyan 1973 
 Peter G. De Buda (Toronto)  1973 
 David J. Anick (MIT)  1973, 1975 
 Grant M. Roberts (Waterloo)  1974 
 James B. Saxe (Union 1974 
 Karl C. Rubin (Princeton)  1974 
 Philip N. Strenski (Armstrong State 1974 
 Thomas G. Goodwillie (Harvard)  1974, 1975 
 Ernest S. Davis (MIT)  1975 
 Franklin T. Adams (Chicago)  1975 
 Christopher L. Henley (Caltech)  1975, 1976 
 David J. Wright (Cornell)  1976 
 Nathaniel S. Kuhn (Harvard)  1976 
 Paul M. Herdig (Case Western Reserve)  1976 
 Philip I. Harrington (Washington U in StL)  1976 
 Steven T. Tschantz (UC Berkeley)  1976, 1978 
 Adam L. Stephanides (Chicago)  1977 
 Michael Roberts (MIT)  1977 
 Paul A. Vojta (Minnesota)  1977 
 Stephen W. Modzelewski (Harvard)  1977 
 Russell D. Lyons (Case Western Reserve)  1977, 1978 
 Mark R. Kleiman (Princeton)  1978 
 Peter W. Shor (Caltech)  1978 
 Randall L. Dougherty (UC Berkeley)  1978, 1979, 1980 
 Charles H. Walter (Princeton)  1979 
 Mark G. Pleszkoch (Virginia 1979 
 Miller Puckette (MIT)  1979 
 Richard Mifflin (Rice)  1979 
 Daniel J. Goldstein (Chicago)  1980 
 Laurence E. Penn (Harvard)  1980 
 Michael Raship (Harvard)  1980 
 Eric D. Carlson (Michigan State)  1980, 1982, 1983 
 Adam Stephanides (Chicago)  1981 
 Robin A. Pemantle (UC Berkeley)  1981 
 Scott R. Fluhrer (Case Western Reserve)  1981 
 David W. Ash (Waterloo)  1981, 1982, 1983 
 Michael J. Larsen (Harvard)  1981, 1983 
 Brian R. Hunt (Maryland)  1982 
 Edward A. Shpiz (Washington U in StL)  1982 
 Noam D. Elkies (Columbia)  1982, 1983, 1984 
 Gregg N. Patruno (Princeton)  1983 
 Benji N. Fisher (Harvard)  1984 
 Daniel W. Johnson (Rose-Hulman Tech 1984 
 Richard A. Stong (Washington U in StL)  1984 
 Michael Reid (Harvard)  1984, 1987 
 Everett W. Howe (Caltech)  1985 
 Keith A. Ramsay (Chicago)  1985 
 Martin V. Hildebrand (Williams 1985 
 Douglas S. Jungreis (Harvard)  1985, 1986 
 Bjorn Poonen (Harvard)  1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 
 David I. Zuckerman (Harvard)  1986 
 Waldemar P. Horwat (MIT)  1986 
 David J. Grabiner (Princeton)  1986, 1987, 1988 
 David J. Moews (Harvard)  1986, 1987, 1988 
 Constantin S. Teleman (Harvard)  1987 
 John S. Tillinghast (UC Davis)  1987 
 Jeremy A. Kahn (Harvard)  1988 
 Ravi D. Vakil (Toronto)  1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 
 Andrew H. Kresch (Yale)  1989 
 Christo Athanasiadis (MIT)  1989 
 Colin M. Springer (Waterloo)  1989 
 Sihao Wu (Yale)  1989 
 William P. Cross (Caltech)  1989 
 Jordan Lampe (UC Berkeley)  1990 
 Raymond M. Sidney (Harvard)  1990 
 Eric K. Wepsic (Harvard)  1990, 1991 
 Jordan S. Ellenberg (Harvard)  1990, 1992 
 Joshua B. Fischman (Princeton)  1991 
 Xi Chen (Missouri–Rolla 1991 
 Samuel A. Kutin (Harvard)  1991, 1992 
 Jeffrey M. Vanderkam (Duke)  1992 
 Serban M. Nacu (Harvard)  1992 
 Adam Logan (Princeton)  1992, 1993 
 Craig B. Gentry (Duke)  1993 
 Wei-Hwa Huang (Caltech)  1993 
 J. P. Grossman (Toronto)  1993, 1994, 1995 
 Kiran S. Kedlaya (Harvard)  1993, 1994, 1995 
 Lenhard L. Ng (Harvard)  1993, 1994, 1995 
 William R. Mann (Princeton)  1994 
 Jeremy L. Bem (Cornell)  1994, 1996 
 Sergey V. Levin (Harvard)  1995 
 Yevgeniy Dodis (NYU)  1995 
 Dragos N. Oprea (Harvard)  1996 
 Ioana Dumitriu (NYU)  1996 
 Robert D. Kleinberg (Cornell)  1996 
 Stephen S. Wang (Harvard)  1996 
 Daniel K. Schepler (Washington U in StL)  1996, 1997 
 Ovidiu Savin (Pittsburgh 1997 
 Patrick K. Corn (Harvard)  1997 
 Samuel Grushevsky (Harvard)  1997 
 Mike L. Develin (Harvard)  1997, 1998 
 Ciprian Manolescu (Harvard)  1997, 1998, 2000 
 Ari M. Turner (Princeton)  1998 
 Nathan G. Curtis (Duke)  1998 
 Kevin D. Lacker (Duke)  1998, 2001 
 Christopher C. Mihelich (Harvard)  1999 
 Colin A. Percival (Simon Fraser 1999 
 Davesh Maulik (Harvard)  1999 
 Derek I.E. Kisman (Waterloo)  1999 
 Sabin Cautis (Waterloo)  1999 
 Abhinav Kumar (MIT)  1999, 2000 
 Pavlo Pylyavskyy (MIT)  2000 
 Alexander B. Schwartz (Harvard)  2000, 2002 
 Gabriel D. Carroll (UC Berkeley, Harvard)  2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 
 George Lee, Jr. (Harvard)  2001 
 Jan K. Siwanowicz (City University of NY 2001 
 Reid W. Barton (MIT)  2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 
 Deniss Cebikins (MIT)  2002 
 Melanie E. Wood (Duke)  2002 
 Ralph C. Furmaniak (Waterloo)  2003 
 Ana Caraiani (Princeton)  2003, 2004 
 Daniel M. Kane (MIT)  2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 
 Vladimir V. Barzov (MIT)  2004 
 Aaron C. Pixton (Princeton)  2004, 2005, 2007 
 Oleg I. Golberg (MIT)  2005 
 Matthew M. Ince (MIT)  2005 
 Ricky I. Liu (Harvard)  2005 
 Tiankai Liu (Harvard)  2005, 2006 
 Hansheng Diao (MIT)  2006 
 Po-Ru Loh (Caltech)  2006 
 Yufei Zhao (MIT)  2006 
 Jason C. Bland (Caltech)  2007 
 Brian R. Lawrence (Caltech)  2007 
 Qingchun Ren (MIT)  2007 
 Xuancheng Shao (MIT)  2007 
 Arnav Tripathy (Harvard)  2007 

Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Award winners

Since 1992, the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Award has been available to be awarded to a female participant with a high score.  It is not awarded every year.  Names in bold have been Putnam Fellows at least once; the year(s) in which they were Fellows are in bold as well.

NameTeamYear (s)
 Dana Pascovici  Dartmouth  1992 
 Ruth A. Britto-Pacumio  MIT  1994 
 Ioana Dumitriu  NYU  1995, 1996, 1997 
 Wai Ling Yee  Waterloo  1999 
 Melanie E. Wood  Duke  2001, 2002 
 Ana Caraiani  Princeton  2003, 2004 
 Alison B. Miller  Harvard  2005, 2006, 2007 


A gift to the 2006 Putnam participants, a mug, had the first problem from that test printed on it. The problem was to find the volume of an object using only its equation. The object turned out to be a torus, and its being on the mug may be a reference to a donut (which is shaped like a torus) being indistinguishable from a coffee mug when considered by a topologist.

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