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ODU Student Scores Among Math Elites

Kevin Kordek, a junior at Old Dominion University, used a compact strategy to score in the top 14 percent of the 3,753 undergraduates in the United States and Canada who participated in the Putnam Math Competition in December 2007.

Mark Dorrepaal, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, said Kordek's strategy was to focus on two of the 12 questions that are asked in the six-hour Putnam examination, "but to do them perfectly."

Kordek's perfect score on those two questions gave him a total of 20 points. Nearly 80 percent of the 3,753 competitors scored zero. The competitors represented 516 colleges and universities.

"The test is well-known for its very difficult questions, which require detailed, handwritten solutions," Dorrepaal said. "I want to publicly congratulate Kevin for his notable achievement, and encourage him to go for three, or more, perfect solutions in next year's competition."

Dorrepaal also praised Richard Noren, associate professor of mathematics and statistics, who served as coach of ODU's Putnam team.

This article was posted on: March 21, 2008

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