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Putnam Fever

Submitted by Arts & Sciences Web Team on December 18, 2017 - 4:00pm

Four years + six hours + one bout of flu. That was a winning equation for Will Dana when he competed in the prestigious William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition as a UW undergraduate.

In his fourth year taking the six-hour Putnam exam, flu-ridden Dana (BS, Mathematics, 2017) scored high enough to earn a coveted honorable mention in the competition. He also helped the UW team place in the top ten — the University of Washington’s highest ranking ever — alongside math powerhouses like MIT, Stanford, and Caltech.

Up to 5,000 undergraduates from U.S. and Canadian universities participate in the annual competition, which was introduced in 1938. The exam features twelve math problems so fiendishly difficult that it's rare for anyone to solve them all. In fact...

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