University of Rochester

University of Rochester Earns Another Strong Showing in the Putnam Math Competition

March 23, 2012

A student math team from the University of Rochester finished in the top three percent in the recent William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.

The team—made up of senior Xiaoqing Tang, sophomore Vincent Yu, and freshman Douglas Miller—finished 15th among 460 teams.

"I think this is an outstanding result, which gives us great hope for the future, especially because only Xiaoqing was part of last year's team," said Dan Geba, associate professor of mathematics and coach of the team. "This is the fourth year in a row that we've been in the top 15 in the country."

There were 4,440 students from 572 colleges participating in this year's competition. The University's top-performer this year was Xiaoqing, who scored 32 for a ranking of 102.

The contest, administered by the Mathematical Association of America, is held the first Saturday in December, with the results released in March. Harvard took top honors this year, followed by Carnegie-Mellon, Caltech, Stanford, and MIT.

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.