Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Nha Truong ’15 Excels in North American Math Competition

Nha 175x236Nha Troung ’15 has performed extraordinarily in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, with the score of 41 and ranking 97th among the 4277 students from 578 colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. The median score, earned by 2350 students this year, was 0.

“I practiced solving math problems during the first year and last summer and tried to not think about the result of the contest,” Troung said. “When I learn not to put pressure on myself, I find math more fun and I am sure that math is my interest.”

The Putnam competition, started in 1938 and administered by Mathematical Association of America, takes place annually on the first Saturday in December. For the six-hour long test, each competitor attempts to solve twelve problems, which can typically be solved with only basic knowledge of college mathematics but requires extensive creative thinking skills. The Putnam Competition is often considered to be one of the most prestigious university-level mathematics competitions in the world.  

“It is virtually impossible to overstate the magnitude of Nha's achievement,” Professor Edward Schwartz said. “Everyone in our department, students and faculty, are basking in his reflected glory.”

In the listing of top participants this year, Troung finds himself among students from Harvard, MIT, Brown, Yale, Princeton, NYU, Columbia, UCLA, California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd, Stanford, and UC, Berkeley.

“I am surprised about my result this year; it is much higher than I thought. I feel that I am on the right track and I am very thankful to my professors, especially Professor Schwartz and Professor Ellis, for guiding me and teaching me a lot,” said Troung.