BYU “Mathletes” Score Big

  From the Church News

  • 6 May 2013

“This means a lot—it tells the world that we are doing great things here.” Tyler Jarvis, BYU math professor

PROVO, UTAH

A trio of BYU “mathletes” earned a seventh place finish in the nation’s mathematical equivalent of March Madness—beating out math powerhouses such as Stanford, Cal-Tech, Duke, Michigan, and UC–Berkeley along the way.

“This means a lot—it tells the world that we are doing great things here,” said BYU math professor Tyler Jarvis. “They’re going to have to take us seriously now that our name is up there with the big boys.”

BYU undergrads Hiram Golze, Sam Dittmer, and Peter Baratta wrote their way into BYU’s record books with their performance in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Since 1938, thousands of the nation’s top college math students compete annually in this grueling six-hour exam. It’s so challenging that sometimes half the participants don’t score a single point.

The team eclipsed the 1979 BYU squad’s 11th place finish for the best mark in school history. It’s also the fifth consecutive season in the top 25 for the BYU mathletes—also a school record. Expect no drop-off next year, as Dittmer returns for his senior season and Baratta will compete as a junior.