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Putnam Competition Results: Harvard Captures Top Prize

For the eighth time in the last 14 years, Harvard has won the William Lowell Putnam Competition and the $25,000 prize for its mathematics department.

Harvard’s winning team of Tiankai Liu, Alison Miller, and Zachary Abel will each receive $1,000 for their efforts. The teams from Princeton, MIT, Stanford, and Duke rounded out the top five.

Miller, a participant on the 2004 U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team, was also named the 2007 Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Award winner as a female whose performance on the test has been deemed “particularly meritorious.” This is the third time Miller will receive the $1,000 prize (2005, 2006), tying her with NYU’s Ioana Dumitriu (1995-97) as the only women to win the award three times.

Harvard freshman Arnav Tripathy was named one of 2007’s six Putnam Fellows, and receives a $2,500 prize in recognition.  Tripathy participated on the 2006 and 2007 U.S. IMO teams, and is featured, along with Abel, in the 2006 documentary Hard Problems.

Participating schools are allowed to choose one team of three students, but may have other students participate individually. 

Along with Tripathy, MIT and Caltech each registered a pair of 2007 Putnam Fellows as Xuancheng Shao and Qingchun Ren from MIT both scored in the top six, as did Caltech’s Jason Bland and Brian Lawrence.  Princeton’s Aaron Pixton was also named a Fellow, making this the third time he has earned the distinction (2004, 2005).  Lawrence and Pixton are also U.S. IMO team veterans, Lawrence in 2005 and 2007, and Pixton in 2004.

The 2007 Putnam exam took place on December 1, 2007 and is held annually on the first Saturday of December. Problems, solutions, and results from this exam and from previous exams can be found on the AMC website.   The lists of the top ten teams and the top 100 individual contestants in 2007 will also be published in the American Mathematical Monthly, together with the problems and solutions. The test is administered by the MAA.

News Date: 
Monday, March 17, 2008