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Open math/physics competition?

  1. Oct 2, 2005 #1
    open math/physics competition???

    i just wanna ask if there are any open undergraduate-level math or physics competitions (in u.s. or cadana)...
    well, for the 'open competition'... which i mean anyone who is interested in it can take it...
    thanks for any reply ;)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2005 #2
    cadana? ummmmmmm....i'm insulted hehe j/k i hope you meant canada
    yes math its call the PUTNAM math competition
    in physics i can't remember the name just go ask a physics dept. but its also N.A. wide. And tests generic knowledge and then specialized knowledge.
  4. Oct 2, 2005 #3
    Putnam... Does anyone know if you can prep for this and significantly raise your score? Or do you just have to be a mathematical genius? It says that you don't need anything beyond calculus, but I'm sceptical after looking at some of the problems.
  5. Oct 2, 2005 #4
    of course you can prep for it...most schools who are serious about this competition tend to have an extracurricular sessions that will attempt to put you in those type of problem solving modes. I think the one thing you might need to learn is probability or proofing by induction with probabilities.

    Any how this was the book introduced to me when i was writing the putnam...i regret not looking at it after my 2nd year. "Problem Solving" by Larson...its a pretty good book that takes you through the techniques to proving. Because the putnam after all is a proving competition...you get like 4 pages to write a proof.

    So talk to your math dept. UW, MAC, UFT,UBC all have it.

    same goes with the physics but i believe thats geared towards 3rd years.
  6. Oct 3, 2005 #5
    I'm a senior in high school now but will probably take it next year when I am a freshmen in college (depending on how things go). I haven't had much problem-solving experience, but could probably get a real analysis class in before I take it. Would that help?
  7. Oct 3, 2005 #6
    doesn't really matter what math subject you t ake because there are a wide variety of questions...over the years...

    the contest if its still as it was 3-4 years ago is 12 questions divided 6 and 6
    and i believe it was 3 hours per section.

    The main think is to understand as much concepts as possible but more important know your proving techniques...because for each question you get about 2 pages to write up a proof...and you gotta justify each step of youru proof. You get part marks oiutta 10.
  8. Oct 3, 2005 #7
    I see. Have you taken it?
  9. Oct 3, 2005 #8
    of course...4 of 5 yearss. didn't really know much in my first year.
    i didn't really have prep time for it...but it was fun especially cuz our math dept took us out to lunch...sucked that we had to wake up at 8am but the lunch was great and the extra sessions were fun...though i was lost sometimes because i wasn't a pure math major.
    I do recommend the larson book as a prep for the contest...because it illustrates a variety of proving techniques over the span of many math fields including analysis, algebra, geometry, number theory etc.
  10. Oct 3, 2005 #9
    How does one enter it?

    I don't know that our University even participates...
  11. Oct 3, 2005 #10
    Talk to your math department.
  12. Oct 5, 2005 #11
    Yea they have it at almost every university, just take a walk around the math department, they should have a place for announcements, you'll probably see it there. I think the average score for my school is around a 0, and that the average among universities is around 1 or 2, they're not easy questions, they are often counterintuitive, and technically you don't need to know a lot of higher math, but you need to be very well versed in what you now. Usually the first question could be done by someone with just high school.
  13. Oct 9, 2005 #12
    well, i come back here a little late....and neurocomp2003, i do mean canada...
    anyway, i am checking PUTNAM's website, but still doubt if i can even participate - cuz i am not enrolled any university which has a math department...right now, i am in a college and it is going to be finish next Sep. so i am still thinking if i should go to a university for math and physics or keep them as hobby all the time...but the problem is i have nothing to prove that how 'good' or 'bad' i am, that's why i am asking the question...
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