Advanced Undergraduate Mathematics Problem Solving Seminar

Fall 2016


Organizer: Professor Shubhangi Saraf


Timing:  Tuesday 10:20 am – 11:40 am 

Location:  Hill-525


This is a non-credit, non graded, advanced seminar in mathematical problem solving that meets during the fall semester.   It builds on the problem solving skills that are taught in the introductory Problem Solving Seminar 640:491. It is aimed at students who have already taken 640:491, or already have significant experience with problem solving of the type that is done in mathematics competitions.

One of the primary goals of this seminar is to help interested students prepare for the William Lowell Putnam Undergraduate Mathematics Competition , which is an annual national mathematics competition held every December. Any full-time undergraduate who does not yet have a college degree is eligible to participate in the exam.

Students may participate in the seminar in more than one year.

The problems done in the seminar will be selected primarily from past Putnam exams. Normally we'll spend 2 seminar sessions on each exam. The meetings of the seminar will be a mixture of presentations by the instructors, group discussions of problems, and student presentations.

To join the seminar, students should send their request to Professor Saraf ( 

Exams to be discussed (Note: While there are published solutions to past Putnam exams, students are strongly encouraged to work on these problems without looking at the solutions.)

·      2012 Putnam Exam

·      2008 Putnam Exam