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Top Students and Teams Announced in Putnam Competition

WASHINGTON, DC - The results of the 2019 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the pre-eminent mathematics competition for undergraduates in the U.S. and Canada, were announced today. The 80th annual Putnam Competition, administered by the Mathematical Association of America, recognized the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the top team, and five undergraduate students were named Putnam Fellows for their high scores, and three students were awarded the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize in the challenging six-hour mathematics competition.

“MAA congratulates all students who participated in the Putnam Competition. We commend the Putnam Fellows, the winners of the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize, and the top-scoring teams for their outstanding performances,” said Michael Pearson, the executive director of MAA. “The enthusiasm for the Putnam Competition across the mathematics community speaks to the dedication of faculty and students and points to a dynamic future for our discipline.”

“I would like to congratulate all the participants for their tremendous efforts with this challenging competition. I am especially grateful to all of the faculty members who organized the competition across the U.S. and Canada,” said Daniel Ullman, director of the Putnam Competition.

4,229 students participants from 570 institutions participated in the competition on December 7, 2019. A list of top college and university teams and top student participants is available here. The highest score on the six-hour exam was a perfect score of 120 points. Cash prizes are awarded to the Putnam Fellows, the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize winners, and the mathematics departments and student members of the highest-ranked teams.

2019 Top Five Putnam Teams:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of California, Los Angeles
  5. University of Waterloo

2019 Putnam Fellows, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Ashwin Sah, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kevin Sun, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Yuan Yao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Shengtong Zhang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Daniel Zhu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize Winners:

  • Laura Pierson, Harvard University
  • Qi Qi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Hanzhi Zheng, Stanford University

The Mathematical Association of America organizes the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition with the generous support of the William Lowell Putnam Prize Fund. Learn more about participating in the Putnam Competition and follow the Mathematical Association of America on Twitter.


The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. We accelerate the understanding of our world through mathematics because mathematics drives society and shapes our lives. Learn more at

News Date: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2020