All of these competitions are supported by the department, and require no entry fees or other costs.
Each fall, the department offers MATH 2690 Problem Solving, a 1-credit P/NP course to help students prepare for these competitions. MATH 2690 typically meets once a week in the early evening. The courses are open to anyone, and is independent of the competitions: you may participate in the competitions without taking a course, and you may enroll in the course without competing.
The Putnam Competition
|William Lowell Putnam Competition||Early December. One Saturday.||Dr. Greg Marks||Putnam Announcement|
The Putnam Competition is the premier national undergraduate mathematics contest, held on the first Saturday of December each year since 1938. Approximately 3,500 undergraduate students representing 500 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada compete. Registration is free. In addition to awarding cash prizes (up to $2,500) to top scorers, the Mathematical Association of America will publish the names and schools of the top 500 students. A good performance can bring great prestige to both you and the university.
The Mathematical Contest in Modeling
|Mathematical Contest in Modeling||Early February. One Weekend.||Dr. Brody Johnson||MCM at SLU|
The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, COMAP, annually conducts a Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) for teams of three undergraduate college students. Three member teams of college students receive two mathematical modeling questions at 8PM EST on Thursday of the contest weekend. They will choose one of these two questions to solve and complete a written report explaining and analyzing their solution of this problem by 8PM EST on Monday of that weekend.
Teams are expected to use mathematics much as professionals use mathematics: on open-ended problems that originate in a variety of other disciplines and are only indirectly related to standard textbook problems. The competition provides excellent practical mathematics experience as well as time management skills, teamwork skills and technical writing skills.
The Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition
|Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition||Early April. Thursday-Saturday.||Dr. Brody Johnson||SLU Math Team|
The Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition is a team event open to any college or university in the state of Missouri. Teams travel to the host university, which is a different Missouri university each year. SLU generally sends two teams of three undergraduates to compete, and typically 30-40 teams attend the competition.
The contest consists of challenging mathematical problems, comparable but not quite as difficult as the Putnam Exam. There are two 2.5 hour sessions, one Thursday night and one Friday morning. Friday afternoon and Saturday the team stays for the Missouri MAA Section Meeting, a math conference with plenty of interesting activities for undergraduates.