A Passel of Putnam Problem People!

This year as every year Drs. Albert and Ozaydin are organizing the OU Putnam Problem Solving Group. It will meet on

Mondays at 5 pm in PHSC 1025 from now until the Putnam Exam.

The Putnam Exam is a famous exam which is held on the first Saturday in December around the country (and, indeed!, around the world).  You can win great prizes (like a scholarship to Harvard!).  And we’ll bet that if you get the top score on the Putnam Exam, the OU Math Department will give you full scholarship to OU!

It was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in honor of her husband William Lowell Putnam.

William Lowell Putnam and professional Teddy Rosevelt impersonator

William Lowell Putnam and professional Teddy Roosevelt impersonator.

We should mention that the exam has 12 questions, each graded out of 10 points, for a total of 120 points.  If you score any points at all, it puts you in the top half of the exam takers! So probably you shouldn’t depend on your Putnam prize money for next year’s tuition :-).


Whether or not you want to take the exam itself, stop by the OU Putnam Problem solving group to have fun and work on interesting problems like this one:

Players 1, 2, 3, …, n are seated around a table and each has a single penny. Player 1 passes a penny to Player 2, who then passes two pennies to Player 3. Player 3 then passes one penny to Player 4, who passes two pennies to Player 5, and so on, players alternately passing one penny or two to the next player who still has some pennies. A player who runs out of pennies drops out of the game and leaves the table. Find an infinite set of numbers n for which some player ends up with all n pennies.

– From the Putnam Exam webpage

Game On!

OU Citizen Science Club

We’re happy to spread the word about OU’s Citizen Science Club.They are meeting this

Monday, October 7th at 7pm in Dale Hall Room 107.

What is citizen science?

Back in the old days science was learned about and done by amateurs as well as professionals.  Heck, Fermat was a lawyer and government official during the day and came up with Fermat’s Little Theorem, Fermat’s Last Theorem, etc. at night (like Batman!).


But it’s not just in the good old days!  It’s even easier with the Internet, crowd sourcing, smartphones, etc. for people to get involved with science reearch!  One example we told you about two years ago was FolditThis page has more good examples!

Or you could just go to the meeting!

Math Club at the Movies


Wednesday, October 2nd in Old Science Hall Room 324 at 5pm

the OU Math Club will be hosting a movie night.  Note the unusual location!  It will be in the OU Film and Media Studies Department’s beautiful student lounge.  Fortunately it’s easy to find since Old Science Hall is right next to PHSC on the SW corner of the north oval.  Click here to see it on Google Maps.

Based on student requests, we’re showing Moneyball. Presumably it’s because of all the sabermetrics and not because of all the screen time of a certain Okie.

It was nominated for six Academy Awards and won none of them (although it did win the coveted 2nd place award for best adapted screenplay by the Central Ohio Film Critics Association:-)).  Check out the preview:

Networking Reception Tomorrow!

 Adrienne Jablonski’s team in the Dean’s office are organizing a networking reception.  It’s a great chance to meet with prospective employers and, even better, to get practice talking with employer-types while eating (and while staying calm, cool, and collected!).
Are you looking for an internship or full-time job after graduation?

You’re invited to the College of Arts and Sciences Professional Networking Reception for A&S students.
Wednesday, September 11, from 4:45-6:00 p.m. (come and go)
Clinton Lounge, Lloyd Noble Center, Immediately following the Sooner Showcase Career Fair

** This event is not a career fair, but be sure to dress professionally and bring your resume.
  • Practice talking to employers in a non-pressured atmosphere
  • Discover new career paths for your major
  • Balance a small plate of food while networking
  • Employers from these industries: government, social services, business, financial services, medical research, internships, technical fields, and more.

Career Stuff

If you’re a senior then you should already be thinking about what you’ll do after graduation.  Heck!  If you’re a junior or earlier, you should be thinking about it, too!  Companies start are hiring now and are also interviewing for jobs and internships that start after graduation.

Your #1 resource at OU is Adrienne Jablonski and her staff in the Dean’s office of the College of Arts and Sciences.  They can tell you about opportunities, help you with your resume and applications, give you practice interviews, and even give advice on what to wear!

Adrienne has several opportunities going on right now that she wants you to know about.  For further information, contact Adrienne at:

Adrienne H. Jablonski
Director, Student Career and Leadership Development
University of Oklahoma
College of Arts and Sciences
Ellison Hall, Room 234
633 Elm Ave
Norman, OK 73071-3118
(405) 325-9122

First, Phillips 66 has full-time career opportunities that are available now!  Interested candidates must be willing to move to Houston. No particular major is required but candidates must have excellent communication skills.  They are also interested in juniors for summer internships.

Second, there is the Halliburton Career Expo on Thursday, September 5.  Halliburton is especially interested in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The event is from 9am until 2pm, with free lunch. For more information, contact Adrienne’s office.

And third, there are several important events coming up where you can learn about opportunities:

  • September 11, OU Sooner Showcase Career Fair, Lloyd Noble Center, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
  • September 11,  Professional Networking Reception with Employers (for A&S students only), OMU Beaird Lounge, 4:45-6:00 p.m. Free food.
  • For other career workshops and events: http://cas.ou.edu/career-development


P.S.  If you end up working at Halliburton, you’ll have to let us know if they know anything about  the man-sized safe used by former Halliburton CEO/former VP/we’re sure he’s an all around great guy Dick Cheney.