More urgently though the Putnam exam is going to be December 6

^{th}. It will have been 1 year and 5 days since I took the 2007 exam. It is hard to believe that it has only been one year since then. I have learned a great deal in that time. Looking at the putnam problems now I feel at least somewhat prepared for the test. Last time I took the Putnam I got a score of 1 point out of a possible 120. Which I am eager to say is above the average score. I have a book with some of the old putnam exams in it and perhaps if I have a spare 6 hours tomorrow I should administer one of them to myself and see how I do. Hearteningly if I get 40 points on the test then I would be in the top 100 of test takers (a few thousand mathematics undergrads and assorted others take the test every year, what can I say doing well on the exam looks good). Realistically I am shooting for 20 points. The 2007 test was a little harder than usual and encouragingly I now could solve 3 of the 12 problems from that exam. before I finish this post off and run away I will give you some example putnam exam problems.

(A1-1976) P is an interior point of the angle whose sides are the rays OA and OB. Locate X on OA and Y on OB so that the line sexment XY contains p and so that the product of distances (px)(py) is a minimum.

A1 and B1 are traditionally the easiest problems and A6 and B6 traditionally the hardest.

(A6-1976) Suppose f(x) is a twice continuously differentiable real valued function defined for all real numbers x and satisfying |f(x)| <= 1 for all x and (f(0))

^{2}+ (f '(0))

^{2}= 4. Prove there exists a point x

_{0}such that f(x

_{0}) + f ' ' (x

_{0}) = 0.

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