George Mason University

Putnam Competition Study Group

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is North America's premier Mathematics competition for college students. The competition takes place on the first Saturday in December each year and consists of a total of 12 math problems given in morning and afternoon sessions. The exams are taken individually but groups of students can form teams from their university and compete for fame, fortune and bragging rights.
  • 2014 Virginia Tech Competition: Saturday October 25: 9am to 11:30am (Exploratory Hall, 4th floor) Contact Dan Anderson ( if you are interested in participating.
  • 2014 Putnam Competition: Saturday, December 6, 10am to 1pm AND 3pm to 6pm (Exploratory Hall, 4th floor). IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE YOU MUST CONTACT Dan Anderson ( TO GET REGISTERED BY EARLY OCTOBER!!!
  • Putnam practice sessions: Friday 4:30pm-5:30pm (Exploratory Hall, 4th floor). These are informal meetings where we get together to work on past Virginia Tech and Putnam competition problems or other related math problems in order to prepare for this year's competitions.
  • Here is photo from the Putnam Competition, Fall 2010.

  • Online resources
    • The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has an online site below devoted to the Putnam exam
      MAA Putnam Link


    Other resources
    • The American Mathematical Monthly publishes the previous year's Putnam exams, with solutions, each October or November.
      Also published by the MAA is The Mathematics Magazine, each issue of which contains a problem section. Each summer, the most recent Putnam exam is also published here, with different solutions. The library also has books on problems and problem solving; in particular, look under those with call numbers beginning with QA 43.

    Those interested in learning more about these mathematics competitions and forming a group at GMU to meet periodically, study together and compete should contact one of the faculty members listed below.

  • Prof. Daniel M. Anderson (email:
  • Prof. James Lawrence (email:

    Last Revised February, 2013