Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Mathematics Competitions

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, or the Putnam in short, is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate students in Canada and the USA.

The Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences has a long history of participating in the Putnam.

We welcome undergraduate students at any level to become a member of our Putnam Team.  It is not necessary for you to be registered in any of our degree programs; if you enjoy solving mathematical problems, there is a place for you on the team.

If you are interested in joining the departmental Putnam team, please contact Dr. Nicolas Guay (nguay@ualberta.ca), Dr. Dragos Hrimiuc (dhrimiuc@alberta.ca), or Dr. Byron Schmuland (byrons@ualberta.ca).

Practice sessions take place in the Fall term, and the Putnam takes place on the first Saturday in December.

Mathematical and Interdisciplinary Contests in Modeling

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) are annual, international contests for undergraduate students.  These contests challenge teams of students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems.

The Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences has had teams participating in the contests for at least a decade.  For the past few years, we have joined forces with the Department of Computing Science to prepare teams for the contests.

We welcome undergraduate students at any level to become a member of our Modeling Contest Team.  It is not necessary for you to be registered in any of our degree programs; if you enjoy applying your analytical, quantitative, or computational skills to solve real-world problems, there is a place for you on the team.  In fact, the team often includes students from Computing Science, Business, and Engineering.

If you would like to join the Modeling Contest Team, please contact Dr. Brendan Pass (pass@ualberta.ca; Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences) or Dr. Martin Jagersand (martin.jagersand@ualberta.ca; Department of Computing Science).

Practice sessions take place at the end of the Fall term and the beginning of the Winter term, and both Modeling Contests take place in early February.  Visit the University of Alberta MCM/ICM page for more information about the practice sessions.

To learn about the wide range of problems that are part of the Modeling Contests, visit this page with an overview of contest problems from previous years.

PRMIA Risk Management Challenge

The PRMIA Risk Management Challenge is an annual competition on solving realistic business problems with a risk management focus.  The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students.  There is no specific coursework required, but background in finance, economics and mathematics will be beneficial.  To participate, students build teams of 3-4 members and pay a 100 USD registration fee per team.

The competition consists of two stages.  There are regional competitions in the following nine cities: Chicago, Dublin, Edmonton, London, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.  Yes, one of these nine cities really is Edmonton.  The winning team of each regional competition will attend the international competition.  The winning team of the international competition will receive up to 10,000 USD pooled from registration fees (subject to US tax law).  The Edmonton Chapter of PRMIA and its sponsors will provide financial support toward the travel expenses to the international competition of the Edmonton winning team.

To learn more about the competition and to register, visit the PRMIA Risk Management Challenge website.  On that website, you can find a brochure containing all relevant information and a link to the Edmonton registration page.

If you have any questions about the PRMIA Risk Management Challenge, please contact Dr. Christoph Frei (cfrei@ualberta.ca).