hile most Mississippi State students were studying for finals or getting some much-needed rest on Dec 2nd, 2017, Katherine Grafe, Robert Merrell, and Tom Zhang were getting up and coming into campus to take a 6-hour mathematics test. The Putnam Mathematical Competition has 6 hard problems in a 3-hour morning session and another 6 hard problems for the afternoon. It has been offered every year since 1938.
Special recognition goes to Robert Merrell and Tom Zhang. Robert made nontrivial progress on one of the problems and Tom completely solved two of these difficult problems. Tom's score puts him in the top third of participants in the exam across North America.
The problems, solutions, and scores from the 2016 Putnam exam can all be found on Kiran Kedlaya's webpage