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Harvard Makes Strong Showing at 84th Putnam Mathematical Competition

Harvard scored second place among the winning teams at the 84th annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Over 3,400 students from over 450 institutions participated in the highly competitive exam administered by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) this past December. The 2023 Putnam team from Harvard was comprised of mathematics and computer science concentrator Andrew Gu ‘26, and math concentrators Kevin Cong ‘26 and Arav Karighattam ‘23. Gu was ranked among the top 16 individuals, while Cong and Karighattam ranked among the top 26 individuals. Eric Shen ’25 also ranked among the top 26 individuals, while Edis Memis ’24 and Gabriel Wu ’25 received an honorable mention and ranked among the top 26-100 individuals.

The Putnam competition was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband William Lowell Putnam, an American lawyer and banker, as well as a Harvard alum. It has been administered by the MMA and offered annually since 1938 as a competition between mathematics departments at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The intense, six-hour exam features 12 proof-based math problems worth 10 points each, and although participants work independently on the problems there is a team aspect to the competition as well. A school’s team consists of its top three scorers, and team ranks are determined by comparing the sums of the scores of the team members. The highest-ranked teams’ math departments and their student members received cash prizes.