Skip to main content

Mathematics Contests

Academic Year 2022-2023

Mathematics Contests

Academic Year 2022-2023

The Mathematics Department at OSU sponsors undergraduate mathematics competitions for all students, math majors and non-majors. See below for details on each contest, including test dates, deadlines for registering, and sample problems. In all cases, the participation will occur here at OSU.

For more information, or to sign up, contact the Math Club and Competitions Committee.

VTR Math Contest

The 41st Annual Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest (VTRMC) was last held on Saturday October 26, 2019 9:00AM to 11:30AM (local time). It is currently suspended due to COVID.

This contest serves as a preliminary contest to the annual Putnam Competition (see below) held later in December. As such, it is roughly half as long (approximately 6-8 problems) with half as much time (2.5 hrs) and its problems are at a more accessible level to beginning undergraduates.

Although the VTRMC is good practice, participation in the VTRMC is not required for participation in the Putnam.

Putnam Exam

The Annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is held on the first Saturday in December. The morning sessions run 8:00AM - 11:00AM followed by the afternoon sessions 1:00PM - 4:00PM (local time).

Participants must self-register and get their unique PIN (Putnam Identification Number). There is no deadline to the registration process, but a PIN is required to take the exam.

  • Winning individuals earn between $250 and $2500 in cash prizes; winning teams earn between $5000 and $25000.
  • Each year thousands of undergraduates and high school students participate at more than 540 schools throughout the USA and Canada.
  • Approximately half of the participants score zero out of 120 on 12 problems; to score a single point is an accomplishment!
  • More information

See the previous year's top scorers


The annual COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling is held in February.

  • Teams of three students work on their choice from three math modeling projects over four days.
  • Last year over 10,000 teams of (up to 3) undergraduates participated from more than 18 countries throughout the WORLD
  • More information

This is an international, team based, undergraduate, mathematical modeling competition. Each team has three students, from any major. Three open-ended, real-world problems will be offered. Teams will choose one problem and write up a thorough solution approach within 4 days. Teams may use any inanimate source of data or materials. Submissions will be judged on the basis of scientific merits as well as clarity and organization of the written report.

The deadline to register is Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

See helpful preparation materials including past submissions and source codes.

We are fortunate at OSU to have had many meritorious winners and honorable mentions. See past years' winning teams.

For more information, or to sign up, contact the Math Club and Competitions Committee.

Sara Tro wearing graduation gown in front of the Learning Innovation Center
Sara Tro (left), Andrea Lanz and Michael Kupperman ranked Meritorious Winner in the 2019 COMAP, placing in the top seven percent internationally. 

Monthly Problem Solving Competition

Need an undergraduate volunteer to manage this contest. Problems are posted on the Math Club bulletin board (Kidder 3rd floor) monthly. Solutions are turned in to the Math Club file folder in the Mathematics Department Office Kidder 368.

The undergraduate student who solves the most problems in a year can be funded to represent OSU at the national competition at MathFest in the summer! The 2009 winner was Chris Rathnam who placed 5th in the national competition at MathFest in Portland.