Department of Mathematics Mathematics Prize Competition

Every year the Western Michigan University Department of Mathematics holds a Mathematics Prize Competition where undergraduate students from all of the University’s majors and disciplines are invited to compete. The goal of the one-day competition is to measure raw talent and is designed to tap into students’ creative problem solving skills.

The winners represent WMU in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, which hosts about 4,000 undergraduate participants in the United States and Canada each December.

The Department of Mathematics is very proud of the students' hard work and success!

Below you will find information on the competition and its winners since the competition's inception. For the most recent competition information, see the 2019 competition.

2018 Competition

The Department of Mathematics held its third Mathematics Prize Competition on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. A total of 22 students from various disciplines participated. The event was organized by Drs. Patrick Bennett, Andrzej Dudek and David Richter and the competition was open to all undergraduates from all majors.

A recognition ceremony was held on Friday, Nov. 2 during the Math Club meeting. The winners were announced by Dr. Heather Petcovic, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

2018 winners

  • First place prize of $500: Conor Doig
  • Second place prize of $300: Nathaniel Chiu
  • Third place prize of $200: Mike Vasenkov
  • Fourth place prize of $100: Bethany Austhof and Nick Christo
  • Fifth place prize of $50: Yonatan Beyene and Sullivan Clement

2017 competition

The Department of Mathematics held its second Mathematics Prize Competition on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Undergraduate students from all of the University’s majors and disciplines were invited to compete. The event was organized by Drs. Patrick Bennett, Andrzej Dudek and David Richter.

A recognition ceremony was during a Math Club meeting where the faculty members reviewed the problems and solutions with the students.

2017 winners

  • First prize: $500
  • Second prize: $300
  • Third prize: $200
  • Forth prize: $100
  • Fifth prize: $50

2016 Math prize Competition

The Department of Mathematics held its first Mathematics Prize Competition on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. A total of 21 students from various disciplines participated. Undergraduate students from all of the University’s majors and disciplines invited to compete. The event was organized by Drs. Patrick Bennett, Andrzej Dudek and David Richter. According to the faculty members, the department hosted a similar competition for freshmen and sophomores in the past. In contrast, the new Mathematics Prize Competition is open to all undergraduates from all majors.

A recognition ceremony was during a Math Club meeting where the faculty members reviewed the problems and solutions with the students.

2016 winners

  • First prize of $200: Vinh Truong, finance major
  • Second prize of $100: James Hallas, dual major in English and math
  • Third prize of $50: Gabriel Hayes, dual major in pre-chemical engineering and math; and Elizabeth Sprangel, dual major in gender and women’s studies and math