Math 17 

How to
Solve it 

Fall 201415  

Instructor: Liubomir
Chiriac, 158
Sloan, 6263954373,
lchiriac [at] caltech {dot} edu 




The William
Lowell Putnam
Mathematics Competition is the most prestigious annual contest for
college students. While the problems employ topics from a standard
undergraduate curriculum, the ability to solve them requires a great
deal of ingenuity, which can be developed through systematic and
specific training. This class aims to assist the interested students in
their preparation for the Putnam exam, and also, more generally, to
treat some topics in undergraduate mathematics through the use of
competition problems. 

Grading will be based on attendance and homework. You are expected to attend class and submit homework every week. As some of the homework problems are quite difficult, it is expected that you will not be able to solve them all in a reasonable time. It is perfectly acceptable to submit solutions to only some problems in a set; or to submit partial solutions explaining what progress you have made and where you are stuck; or anything else that shows that you gave some thought to the problems. While collaboration is encouraged, your goal in this class is
to learn the largely individual skill of problemsolving. You should
spend a significant amount of time tackling a problem on your own
before you ask a friend. Even if you arrive at your solution through
collaboration, your writeup should be entirely your own. 

The
William
Lowell
Putnam Mathematical Competition 19852000: Problems,
Solutions and Commentary, by Kedlaya, Poonen and Vakil.
The William Lowell Putnam mathematical competition, Problems and solutions: 19651984, edited by Alexanderson, Klosinski and Larson. The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Problems and Solutions: 19381964, by Gleason, Greenwood and Kelly. Putnam and Beyond by Gelca and Andreescu. 






