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Participating in the Putnam competition within 2 year

  1. Feb 4, 2008 #1
    Well, i am thinking of participating in the Putnam competition within 2 years, as i am only a freshman now and this is my first semester. I am planning to first try to create a quite stiff background in math before i even try Putnam. I am planning to first take these courses before i do that: Calculus I, II, III, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Differential Equations, Number Theory, Discrete Math, and also try to do some indepedent study in number theory and analysis and maybe in abstract algebra as well. What else would you suggest to do in order for one to be able to do something in putnam competition?
    BTW, i am planning to take all those courses by the end of the second semester while sophomore.
    Thnx in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2008 #2
    Practice the Putnam. That's really the only thing I can suggest. The coursework is fine, but it's so different from the Putnam that it doesn't really prepare you at all.
  4. Feb 4, 2008 #3
    Yeah, but is there any specific book that contains strategies on how to tackle the putnam problems, or that contains samples of putnam problems, or i just have to check up the real putnam problems in the previous years?
  5. Feb 4, 2008 #4
    The putnam is goin to test your knowledge of solving diff eqs or of proving the divergence theorem. It is going to test your problem solving skills, look online for past tests, that's probably your best bet. Find a math professor at your school to work with, I'm sue you aren't the only one who wants to do the putnam, my school actually offered an elective seminar on putnam problems last semester.
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