Notre Dame Students Meet Challenge of Putnam Mathematical Competition

Author: Gene Stowe

Putnam Competition


For the second year in a row, Notre Dame ranked 20 of 546 institutions participating in the 70th W.L. Putnam Mathematical Competition. Eight Notre Dame students scored in double digits in the challenging competition, administered by the Mathematical Association of America. Four placed in the top 12 percent and one, Eric Reidl, in the top two percent, with a score of 50. Median scores on the 12-question test – each worth 10 points – are usually in the low single digits.

Reidl, a senior math and piano performance double major who scored 11 on the six-hour test when he took it in his freshman year, will pursue a Ph.D. at Harvard University, probably in algebraic number theory. “I think competitions like the Putnam are a fun way to see my mathematical maturity increase,” he says.

Seniors Daniel Moeller and Jack Enyeart and junior Brooks Smith also placed in the top 12 percent. Ryan Solava, Mark Cerenzia, Daniel Corey and Andrew Taylor attained double digits. Michael Gekhtman, professor of mathematics and director of undergraduate studies, holds Putnam practice sessions and encourages the students in their efforts.