The competition emphasizes ingenuity rather than knowledge, so freshmen are not at much of a disadvantage compared to seniors. Interest in or experience with problem solving is a plus.

Completely solving even one of the twelve problems is a significant achievement, and in almost all years would place you well above the median.

We'll meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 until 7:45 pm to discuss problem-solving techniques, work on problems, and watch volunteers present solutions and explain how they thought about problems. We'll also eat pizza and/or other snacks (to help us think more creatively!). We'll typically start each session with a short (15-20 minute) discussion of a problem-solving technique. The practice problems that we'll work on each week will consist problems on the technique discussed and other general problems. Handouts will appear below.

- Tuesday, September 11: general problem-solving strategies, induction, and the pigeon-hole principle.
- Tuesday, September 18: the Euclidean division algorithm and elementary properties of modular arithmetic.
- Tuesday, September 25: Euler's Theorem and Fermat's Little Theorem.
- Tuesday, October 2: Continued practice with modular arithmetic.
- Tuesday, October 9: 2002 Putnam
- Tuesday, October 16: Generating functions and recursion theory (Brian Jones)
- Tuesday, October 23: Combinatorics (Noah Aydin)
- Tuesday, October 30: Power Series
- Tuesday, November 6: Geometric Series and Telescoping Series
- Tuesday, November 13: l'Hopital's rule
- Tuesday, November 27: Arithmetic Mean-Geometric Mean Inequality

Recommended reading and links: