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University of Waterloo has won more Top Five titles in the prestigious Putnam competition than any other Canadian university
University of Waterloo has won more Top Five titles in the prestigious Putnam competition than any other Canadian universityBy Staff University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo consistently performs well in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition and the most recent fourth-place finish behind Harvard, MIT and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute means Waterloo has won 19 Top Five titles - more than any other Canadian university.
The Putnam competition is regarded as the most prestigious one in North America. It draws more than 400 teams from universities across the US and Canada, with the biggest winners typically coming from Ivy League institututions like Harvard and MIT.
Waterloo’s achievement is especially notable because the Putnam competition was taking place several decades before the University of Waterloo was founded in 1957. The University of Toronto, which started competing back in 1938, has finished in the Top 5, eighteen times.
This year’s team - Daniel Spivak, Sam Eisenstat and Kangning (Colin) Chen - finished ahead of the California Institute of Technology, University of California-Los Angeles, Duke University, Stanford University and Yale University. Waterloo’s team was coached by Stephen New, a professor in the Faculty of Mathematics.
The top University of Waterloo student was Daniel Spivak, who ended up in the Top 25 of 4,320 contestants. Four other Waterloo students, listed alphabetically, were among the top 200 contestants: Sam Eisenstat, Kangning (Colin) Chen, Shouzhen Gu, Paul Musgrave.
Four other students were among the top 300 contestants: Rutger Campbell, Peili Dai, Alexandru Gatea, Ghislain McKay. Five more students finished among the top 500 contestants: Xinle (Clair) Dai, Zhengyu (Jarry) Gu, Zhuan Khye Koh, Ritvik Ramkumar, Kaiyu (Kevin) Wu.
The competition was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband William Lowell Putnam, who was an advocate of intercollegiate intellectual competition. The exam is administered by the Mathematical Association of America. The winning team gets $25,000. The winning individual gets a scholarship to Harvard.