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Science Terps Place Ninth in International Math Competition

By Maryland Today Staff

A team of University of Maryland undergraduates placed ninth out of 568 teams and earned an honorable mention nod in the most recent William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, popularly called “the Putnam."

“The Putnam is extremely challenging and the median score is often zero even though only the best students participate” said Roohollah Ebrahimian, a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics who coordinates the UMD Putnam team.

The Putnam is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the U.S. and Canada. During the competition, participants work individually to solve 12 mathematical problems. The results for the 2018 competition were released in recent weeks.

The Terp team’s performance placed UMD in the company of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose teams took first and second place, respectively. The University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley were the only other public universities in the U.S. to place in the top 10.

Although students attempt the Putnam problems as individuals, each school picks three students ahead of the competition to represent its team. This year, UMD’s team members were Erik Metz, a double major in mathematics and computer science who ranked 87th; Pratik Rathore, who is pursuing double degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering and ranked 120th; and Aaron George, who is pursuing double degrees in mathematics and computer science and ranked 193rd.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.