# William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

## Annual mathematics competition / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The **William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition**, often abbreviated to **Putnam Competition**, is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate college students enrolled at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada (regardless of the students' nationalities). It awards a scholarship and cash prizes ranging from $250 to $2,500 for the top students and $5,000 to $25,000 for the top schools, plus one of the top five individual scorers (designated as *Putnam Fellows*) is awarded a scholarship of up to $12,000 plus tuition at Harvard University (Putnam Fellow Prize Fellowship),[1] the top 100 individual scorers have their names mentioned in the American Mathematical Monthly (alphabetically ordered within rank), and the names and addresses of the top 500 contestants are mailed to all participating institutions. It is widely considered to be the most prestigious university-level mathematics competition in the world, and its difficulty is such that the median score is often zero (out of 120) despite being attempted by students specializing in mathematics.[2][3]

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 competition has been offered annually since 1938 and is administered by the Mathematical Association of America.[4]