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Problem Solving

Problem Solving Seminar

Each year students from UNC compete in the Virginia Tech and Putnam mathematical competitions. In 2019, our top-scorer in the Virginia Tech contest placed 24th nationally, and several of our students placed in the top 10% for the Putnam competition. The Virginia Tech contest is traditionally held on the last Saturday in October. The Putnam competition is traditionally held on the first Saturday in December with morning and afternoon sessions. Both competitions will involve a set of problems that will test your problem solving abilities. They will take place at UNC and are free to enter.

Professor Justin Sawon runs the weekly problem solving sessions during Fall semester to help entrants prepare for these competitions. Many students have also found these sessions helpful in their other math classes. These sessions will be run as a section of MATH294, but everyone is welcome to participate in these sessions, even if they are not registered for MATH294. Here are the course details for Fall 2021:

Title: MATH294 Problem solving seminar
Instructor: Justin Sawon
Meeting: Weekly, Tuesdays, 5:00 – 6:15 PM via Zoom
Credits: 1 credit hour
Grading: To achieve a passing grade students must regularly attend and actively participate in the weekly problem solving sessions. Students are also expected to compete in the Virginia Tech and Putnam mathematical competitions.

The first problem solving session was held on Tuesday 24th August, 2021. To register for this course, you should email Justin Sawon before the first session and give him your name and PID.

Note that registering for MATH294 is entirely optional: you don’t have to register for MATH294 to participate in these sessions and/or the competitions. In particular, if you don’t anticipate attending every week, it would be better not to register. Please let Justin Sawon know by email, if you want to participate and are unable to attend the first session.