KU Students Excel at National Math Competition

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas team placed 54th out of 415 teams in the Mathematical Association of America’s William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.  Called one of the toughest math competitions in the world, the Putnam exam is a mathematics competition open to all regularly enrolled undergraduates in colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.  KU’s team consisted of Spencer Dang, senior in mathematics and computer science from Shawnee; Andrei Elliott, senior in computer science from Lawrence, and Trevor Scheopner, senior in mathematics and physics from Wichita.

Scheopner was the highest-scoring student from KU, ranking within the top 500 out of 4,164 participants. Other top-scoring students were Paul Goodwin, senior in mathematics from Olathe, and Xiang Xu, senior in mathematics from China.

The students were presented with cash awards at the mathematics department’s honors banquet April 25.

Jeremy Martin, professor of mathematics, and Geng Chen and Terry Soo, assistant professors of mathematics, conducted training sessions for the Putnam exam.