Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2000
LOCAL STUDENT COMPETES IN 1999 PUTNAM EXAM
Brandan Yares of Brooklyn Park is one of five students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology that competed in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition in December 1999. Yares is a junior, computer engineering major at Tech. The Putnam is perhaps the most prestigious mathematical competition for undergraduate students in the United States and Canada, and according to Dr. Edward Corwin, Professor of Mathematics at SDSM& T, this was the hardest Putnam he has seen in his many years as coach of the SD Tech team.
Other students from Tech who competed were Nathanael Reid of Kennewick, WA, and Jamil Higgins, Kathleen Peterson, and Ryan Mayer of Rapid City, SD. Nathanael Reid fared the best out of the pack with a score of 10 which put him in 729th out of 2900 students. He was the top finisher in the state of South Dakota. Of the 2900 students, 1746 scored a zero. The top score was a 74.
The Putnam exam consists of 12 problems worth 10 points each for a total of 120 points. Typically about 1/ 3 of the students who take the exam get a score of 0. Receiving a score of 20 is usually sufficient to make the list of the top 500 students that is sent to graduate schools across the country. The exam is constructed to test originality as well as technical competence. Questions are included that cut across the bounds of various disciplines, and self- contained questions that do not fit into any of the usual categories.
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition began in 1938 and is designed to stimulate a healthful rivalry in mathematics among colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Mr. William Lowell Putnam had a profound conviction in the value of organized team competition among undergraduate students. After Putnam’s death, his widow created a trust fund that supported the first Putnam competition, and it has continued ever since.
( I: univrel/ pressrel/ 0300 Putnam results local Brooklyn Park, MN)
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