Putnam Rule Changes and What they Mean.

This year there will be two important changes to the rules of the Putnam competition.

  • Previously I had to select the University of Maryland Team before the day of the competition. This has changed now. Our team will now consist of the top three scorers from our school.
  • Previously the ranking for our school was determined by the total ranking of the three members of  our team. This will change in 2019. The ranking of our team will be determined by adding the scores of the top scorers from our school.

I am not sure how these changes will affect our school’s performance in Putnam. Since the Putnam Committee is very opaque about the scores and rankings of schools I am not able to tell whether this change will help or hurt our standing in the future based on the past data.

I personally do not like the first change. In comparable competitions (such as the IMO and IMC) teams are always selected in advance. Selecting the team in advance creates a competitive atmosphere in the school for students to try and get into the school team.

As for the second change, I think the new scoring system might be more “fair”, but I am more agnostic about this change.

These changes will make it difficult to compare the performance of each school with its historical performance.

Putnam Training Sessions

During the fall semester we will have Putnam training sessions. Putnam training sessions start today. All interested students are welcome to show up to these training sessions. The information is listed below:

Time: Wednedays 4-5:30 pm

Location: Math 0102

Interested students are welcome to formally register in Math 299B–Putnam Express. You can find more information about our weekly problem solving sessions here.

2018 Putnam Competition Results

In 2018, a total of 4,623 students from 568 institutions participated in the Putnam competition.

The University of Maryland, College Park was ranked 9th and obtained one of the five Honorable Mention awards at the team level.

Our team members were Erik Metz, who was ranked 87th, Pratik Rathore, who was ranked 120th and Aaron George who was ranked 193rd.

Erik Metz also won an Honorable Mention award at the individual level.

Joshua Fernandes was ranked 180th.

Congratulations to our team and the participants!

Complete results can be viewed here.