UMD was one of only three U.S. public universities to place in the top 10 at the prestigious international math competition.
A team of undergraduates from the University of Maryland placed ninth out of 568 teams and earned an honorable mention nod in the 2018 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, popularly called “the Putnam.”
“I am very proud of our Putnam team,” said Roohollah Ebrahimian, a senior lecturer in the UMD Department of Mathematics who coordinates the UMD Putnam team. “The Putnam is extremely challenging and the median score is often zero even though only the best students participate. Our team’s performance is nearly unprecedented in our history.”
The Putnam is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the U.S. and Canada. During the competition, participants work individually to solve 12 mathematical problems.
The Terp team’s performance placed UMD in the company of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose teams took first and second place, respectively. The University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley, were the only other public universities in the U.S. to place in the top 10.
Although students attempt the Putnam problems as individuals, each school picks three students ahead of the competition to represent its team. This year, UMD’s team members were Erik Metz, a double major in mathematics and computer science who ranked 87th; Pratik Rathore, who is pursuing double degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering and ranked 120th; and Aaron George, who is pursuing double degrees in mathematics and computer science and ranked 193rd.
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Written by Irene Ying for the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences