William Lowell Putnam Competition
Every year Gettysburg College enters a team of students in the William Lowell Putnam Competition. This exam, which is held on the first Saturday of December, consists of 12 difficult problems, to be done in six hours. The Putnam exam is the center of a Gettysburg College / St. Mary's College of Maryland rivalry that dates back to 2001. Each year the school with the largest point total wins the fabled Putnam lamp. In 2001 Gettysburg lost the lamp by a score of 21-0, but in 2002 we won it back by a score of 56-39. Gettysburg lost the lamp again in 2004 then won it back in 2015.
Mathematical Contest in Modeling
Each year several teams of students from Gettysburg participate in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, sponsored by COMAP. The Department of Mathematics has a tradition of success in the contest, starting with the outstanding entry in 1996. With no formal training, the teams "fly by the seat of their pants", using intuition, strong mathematics and computer science skills, and writing ability to produce a paper that describes and defends their model.