Brigham Young University's Department of Mathematics recently placed in the top 20 in an international mathematics competition, with four students earning scores in the top 10 percent.
BYU's team, composed of junior Yu Yang Edison and seniors Wayne Rosengren and Russell Howes coached by faculty member Darrin Doud, placed 18th in this year's Putman Exam competition. Twenty-one other BYU students participated individually in the competition as well.
Four BYU students received scores in the top ten percent, including Edison (140th), Howes and Nathan Grigg (tied for 239th) and Russell Ricks (282nd) out of 3,640 participants.
"This is a significant accomplishment. This is the biggest and most competitive contest in college mathematics in the United States, sort of like an NCAA tournament for math," said Tyler Jarvis, chair of the Department of Mathematics. "For our team to place 18th out of more than 400 teams nationally is very impressive."
The Putnam Exam, sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America, is designed to find the best mathematical problem solvers from universities in the United States and Canada. The contest consists of 12 problems to be solved in a six-hour period.
The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics taught at the undergraduate level. Members include university teachers, computer scientists, statisticians and graduate and undergraduate students. For more information, contact Tyler Jarvis at (801) 422-5925.
Writer: Elizabeth Kasper