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University of Toronto Mathematics Competition (2001-2015)

Edward J. Barbeau
Publication Date: 
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Problem Books in Mathematics
Problem Book
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The Basic Library List Committee suggests that undergraduate mathematics libraries consider this book for acquisition.

[Reviewed by
Megan Patnott
, on

Barbeau started an undergraduate math competition at the University of Toronto in 2001 to give students preparing for the Putnam Exam an opportunity to practice solving problems during a competition. This book is the compilation of the problems from those competitions from 2001 to 2015, along with their solutions, an appendix of notation and key results, and an appendix listing the top ranking students. There are about 150 problems, with about 10 from each year, and they are given in chronological order in the first chapter. Their solutions can be found in the remaining chapters, organized according to subject area. Barbeau wanted the University of Toronto competition to be accessible to first and second year students, so the problems are easier than those on the Putnam. The source of each problem is given at the end of its solution.

This books seems most useful as a supplementary resource for a problem solving or Putnam prep group, class, or math club. The book’s organizational structure makes it easy to get a mix of problems from different subject areas using the chronological presentation in Chapter 1 or to choose problems from specific subjects by going directly to the solution chapters. There’s a good variety of problem types, although how many of them will be accessible to first and second year students will vary from institution to institution.

Megan Patnott is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Regis University in Denver, CO. Her training is in algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.

See the table of contents in the publisher's webpage.