2021 Baylor Putnam Team

December 10, 2021

On Saturday, December 4, 2021 seven Baylor students participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. On a typical year, over 4000 students representing over 500 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada take the Putnam Exam. Known as one of the most difficult mathematical exams worldwide, on many years the median score is 0! (Both ways of reading that are correct.) In the late spring these students will learn how they placed nationally.

Highlights from this year’s exam include:

Problem A3: Determine all positive integers N for which the sphere x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = N has an inscribed regular tetrahedron whose vertices have integer coordinates.

Problem A6: Let P(x) be a polynomial whose coefficients are all either 0 or 1. Suppose that P(x) can be written as a product of two nonconstant polynomials with integer coefficients. Does it follow that P(2) is a composite integer?

Pictured are members of the 2021 Baylor University Putnam Exam Team.Pictured are members of the 2021 Baylor University Putnam Exam Team: Joshua Mercurio, Qiance Tang, Alexander Newton, Handley Hunter, Ethan Rama, Avery Voight, and Clyde Kertzer. Also pictured is Putnam Exam Coach Associate Professor of Mathematics Daniel Herden. Other coaches of the Baylor Putnam Exam Team include Professors Paul Hagelstein, Marius Mitrea, and Andre Martinez-Finkelshtein.