2012 Putnam

2012 Putnam Williams had another strong finish in the Putnam. We had over 1% of the campus take the exam, and our team of Carlos Dominguez, Jared Hallett and Wei Sun finished 19th in the nation. Solutions to the problems are available here: http://math.ucsd.edu/~kedlaya/2012s.pdf (for those interested in math puzzles… Continue reading »

The 2010 Green Chicken Exam

This Saturday was the annual Green Chicken math contest between Middlebury and Williams. Over 30 students spent several hours doing (and then discussing) math problems in order to determine which school shall have the honor of being the home to a green porcelin chicken. Our team (with… Continue reading »

Williams 17th in 2009 Putnam

Continuing our strong performance in last year’s Putnam Competition, the Williams team (comprised from Nick Arnosti, Carlos Dominguez, Jake Levinson and Wei Sun) placed 17th in North America, with all four scoring in the top 500 of over 3000 students. Click here for the problems and… Continue reading »

Mathematics and the Iranian Elections

One of the many things I love about mathematics is that results initially discovered in one realm pop up in surprising places. A terrific example is Benford’s law of digit bias (those taking Math 341 in the fall will get to learn a lot more about this!). Benford’s… Continue reading »

The Putnam and Other Math Competitions

In honor of the strong performance by Williams College on the Putnam Math Competition (placing 14th out of over 500 teams, with two students in the top 200 and two in the top 500 in North America), this is a good time to talk about why these… Continue reading »

Random thoughts on primes

Recently, we saw in the headlines that a new world record has been set for the largest prime (not surprisingly, it’s a Mersenne prime, which means it’s of the form for some n); see here, or for more details, see here. Also, StewJo started a blog… Continue reading »