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Students Compete in National Mathematical Competition


St. John Fisher College students Chris Manzella, Alex Olbrych, and Greg Search competed in the 72nd William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition last December, and Olbrych recently found out his efforts earned him a rank in the top 1,000 mathematics college students in North America.

Each year, over 2,000 students compete, spending six hours working to solve 12 problems. The competition is open to all college students in North America. A total of 572 colleges and universities participated. The top schools in the 2011 competition included Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, CalTech, Stanford, and MIT.

“This competition is an exceedingly difficult one. Only nine participants got more than 50% of the problems correct, and approximately half of the participants received zero points,” said Dr. Bernard Ricca, Associate Professor, Mathematical and Computing Sciences.

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition was established in 1938 in memory of its namesake. The competition is administered by the Mathematical Association of America.

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