Math 101: Advanced Problem Solving

Fall 2021

Instructor: Sucharit Sarkar.
Class: M 16:00-18:50, ROYCE 164.

Textbook: Titu Andreescu and Razvan Gelca, Putnam and Beyond, ISBN 9780387257655.
Useful links: CCLE, MyUCLA, Department page, Putnam materials, Putnam information.

Prerequisite: Math 100 or significant experience with mathematical competitions. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor, based on the selection test or on past Putnam results.
Topics: Advanced problem solving techniques and mathematical topics useful as preparation for Putnam Competition. Problems in abstract algebra, linear algebra, number theory, combinatorics, probability, real and complex analysis, differential equations, Fourier analysis. Regular practice tests given, similar in difficulty to the Putnam Competition.

Putnam: MATH 101 is an advanced preparation course for the Putnam. (There is an easier course for Putnam, MATH 100, aimed at students not familiar with problem solving.) These Putnam materials may be useful for Putnam prepration. The Putnam takes place on 2021-12-04, and you must register for the Putnam examination before that. There will be an introductory preparation session, open to all students (whether or not enrolled in Math 101), on 2021-09-24 16:00-17:20 at Franz 1260. There will be a practice exam, open to all students, on 2021-09-27 16:00-18:50 at PAB 1434A, which also serves as a placement exam for MATH 101. See here for more information.

Homework and exams: Homework will be assigned every week and will be discussed in class; you should solve the problems over the week, and will be asked to present the solutions in class. There will be four 3hr exams as practice for Putnam. The first of these exams serves as a placement exam for MATH 101. (There will be no additional exams during the Finals week).

Grading: Numerical grades will be recorded in the MyUCLA gradebook and the composite numerical grade will be computed as 25% for each of the four Putnam practice exams. Based on that, the final grade (P/NP or letter grade) will be assigned. Since the test problems are very hard, solving an average of 2/6 problems is enough for B+/A-; lower and higher scores will correspond to lower and higher grades, respectively. If you believe a problem on a homework or an exam has been graded incorrectly, or that your score was not correctly recorded in the MyUCLA gradebook, you must bring this to the attention of the instructor within 10 calendar days of the date of the exam, and before the end of the quarter. Grading complaints not initiated within this period of time will not be considered. Please verify in a timely manner that your scores are correctly recorded on MyUCLA.

Schedule:
Date Time Location Activity
2021-09-24 16:00-17:20 Franz 1260 Introductory session
2021-09-27 16:00-18:50 PAB 1434A Practice test 1 (placement exam)
2021-10-04 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 1
2021-10-11 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 2
2021-10-18 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Practice test 2
2021-10-25 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 3
2021-11-01 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 4
2021-11-08 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Practice test 3
2021-11-15 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 5
2021-11-22 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Discuss HW 6
2021-11-29 16:00-18:50 ROYCE 164 Practice test 4
2021-12-04 08:00-16:00 MS 6627 Putnam exam