Oglethorpe students impress during “hardest math test in the world”

Putnam math test groupIn early December, six Petrels took on the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, affectionately referred to as the “hardest math test in the world,” and turned in a great performance.

Team Oglethorpe finished in the top third of more than 400 participating teams, an extremely impressive showing from the group, who spent their own time outside of class studying and preparing for the competition.

Around 4,000 undergraduates participate in the competition each year. The participants work individually on six challenging math problems over two three-hour sessions, 12 total problems for the day, and are scored both individually and as an institution, with Oglethorpe students competing in three-person teams. Cash prizes are awarded to top individual scorers, top teams and top female performance.

Time Magazine calls the competition an annual “coming-out party for the next generation of beautiful minds” and says “a high score on the Putnam can fast-track a young mathematician’s career, and a team win can put a math department on the map.”

Agbolade Akande ’19, Robert Dougherty-Bliss ’19, Kaitlyn Harysch ’19, Miguel Lara ’19, Parrish Studebaker ’22, and Christina Minor ’20 all competed in the 2018 edition. Akande, Dougherty-Bliss, and Harysch also participated in 2017.

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