A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Taylor Mathematics Students Achieve Highest-Ever Finish in National Competition

  • Published: Apr 6, 2015 11:30AM

Taylor University’s Mathematics Competition Team has recorded its highest-ever finish in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Taylor finished 26th among 431 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada, placing them among the competition’s top six percent.

Taylor’s strong placing closely follows a first-place finish in the Spring 2015 Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition and second and third place finishes in the Fall 2014 Michigan Autumn Take-Home Challenge.

Taylor Professor of Mathematics and Co-coach Dr. Matt DeLong described the Putnam Exam as “extraordinarily difficult.” One-hundred-twenty points was the best possible outcome of the 6-hour, 12-question exam. The average score was just below three with the most common score being zero. Taylor was led by Josh Kiers’ 30 points, Claire Spychalla’s 28, and Ethen Gegner’s 26. The three made the official list of “top participants” (the Top 500). Only five students from Indiana made the list. In addition to Taylor’s three, one came from Indiana University and the other was from Rose-Hulman.

Kiers, Spychalla and Gegner were members of a 10-person contingent from Taylor participating in the exam. The rest included:  Daniel Crane, Tanner Dye, Ruth Jansen, Joe Kasper, Jordan Melendez, Melanie Schmocker and Kip Yin. The team was coached by Drs. Matt DeLong and Derek Thompson.

This year’s competition was comprised of 4,320 students from 577 institutions.  

“We continue to be grateful for the blessing of an abundant cohort of exceptional mathematics students,” said DeLong.