University of Rochester

University of Rochester Places in Top Three Percent in the Nation's Premier Math Competition

April 5, 2011

The University of Rochester placed 12th out of 442 teams in the recent William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, moving up two spots from last year's 14th place showing.

The Putnam team from the University consisted of senior Chris Kauffman, junior Kevin Lin and junior Xiaoqing Tang. They were among the 4296 students from 546 colleges participating in the competition. Lin, who had the best showing for the University, scored 61 points for a ranking of 81.

The Putnam Competition began in 1938 and is open to undergraduate college students in the U.S. and Canada. In a test of both originality and technical competence, participants try to solve 12 questions in two, three-hour sittings.

The contest is administered the first Saturday in December, with the results released in March. Caltech took top honors this year, followed by M.I.T. and Harvard.

"I am very proud of all our students," said Steve Gonek, chair of the University mathematics department. "They trained hard and represented us with great distinction in this extremely challenging competition."

Gonek also credited the students' coach, Associate Professor Dan Geba, for the team's continued success in the Putnam Competition.