News Release

Putnam Competition names top students in college mathematics

MIT and Harvard students named Putnam Fellows

Grant and Award Announcement

Mathematical Association of America

WASHINGTON, DC - The results of the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the preeminent undergraduate mathematics competition, were announced today. The 78th annual Putnam Mathematical Competition, organized by the Mathematical Association of America, recognized the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the top team and five undergraduate students were named Putnam Fellows for their high scores on the rigorous six-hour mathematics exam.

A list of top college and university teams and top student participants is available from the Mathematical Association of America. As the highest-ranked team, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was awarded a cash prize of $25,000 for their mathematics department, each Putnam Fellow earned $2,500, and the winner of the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam prize was awarded $1,000. Cash prizes are also awarded to the mathematics departments of the next four highest-ranked Putnam Competition teams as well as the students on the top five teams.

"The Mathematical Association of America is proud to honor every student and institution that participated in the Putnam Competition," said Michael Pearson, the executive director of the Mathematical Association of America. "A special congratulations to the Putnam Fellows, Elizabeth Lowell Putnam prize winner, and the top scoring teams. You join many distinguished alumni of the competition and we look forward to your continued success."

"A heartfelt thank you to the almost 600 faculty members who donated their time to organize the Putnam Competition for their math students on campuses across the U.S. and Canada," said Daniel Ullman, director of the Putnam Competition.

4,638 students from 575 institutions participated in this highly competitive mathematics exam on December 2, 2017. The highest score on the six-hour exam was 89 out of a possible 120 points. Only 20% of participants earned a score above 13.

Top 5 Putnam Competition Teams: 2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Princeton University
University of Toronto
University of California at Los Angeles

2017 Individual Putnam Fellows, listed in alphabetical order:
Omer Cerrahoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jiyang Gao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Junyao Peng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Ashwin Sah, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Stoner, Harvard University

Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize Winner:
Ni Yan, University of California at Los Angeles


The Mathematical Association of America organizes the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition with the generous support of the William Lowell Putnam Prize Fund. For more information about the Putnam Mathematical Competition click here, and follow the Mathematical Association of America on Twitter @maanow.

The Mathematical Association of America is the world's largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. We further the understanding of our world through mathematics because mathematics drives society and shapes our lives. Learn more at

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