PITTSBURGH, April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Carnegie Mellon University placed first in the Mathematical Association of America's 77th William Lowell Putnam Competition, the premier mathematics competition for undergraduate students in North America.
Three Mellon College of Science students majoring in mathematical sciences, junior Joshua Brakensiek and seniors Thomas Swayze and Samuel Zbarsky, scored among the top five of all students, earning them the distinction of being named Putnam Fellows. Forty-four Carnegie Mellon students placed in the top 517, the second most of any university.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Carnegie Mellon's team has placed in the top five of the competition and the first time they have placed first. Prior to the current streak, the university had placed in the top five three other times – in 1946, 1949 and 1987. It's also the first time since 1990 that all three members of any university's Putnam team have been named Putnam Fellows.
"The meteoric rise of the Carnegie Mellon Putnam team reflects a culture of bold innovation at the university. Here we encourage fresh ideas that challenge paradigms and turn the impossible into the possible," said Po-Shen Loh, associate professor of mathematical sciences and the team's coach. Loh is also the lead coach of the U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad team, a national program organized by the Mathematical Association of America, with training hosted at Carnegie Mellon. The team has ranked first in the world for the past two years.
The university's current success is the result of a great deal of hard work by the students who took the six-hour exam and a concerted effort by the university to create an environment where students can enthusiastically engage in math and problem solving, take classes in top-ranked programs including math, finance, computer science and statistics, and receive support and mentorship from the research university's award-winning faculty.
This is the fifth year in a row that Carnegie Mellon has had the second highest number of students in the approximate top 500 of any university, demonstrating the excellence in mathematics among Carnegie Mellon undergraduates across the university's colleges and schools.
Read more about Carnegie Mellon's Putnam victory here: http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2017/april/putnam-mathematics-competition.html
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SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University