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The Art and Craft of Problem Solving MATH 480W (3)

Designed for students with a strong interest in problem solving and the determination to persevere in seeking solutions to highly challenging mathematical problems. Intended as a preparation for the Putnam Competition, the most challenging and prestigious undergraduate mathematics competition in North America, in which effective presentation of solutions is as important as skill in problem solving. Reviews strategic principles, tactical approaches, and specific technical tools for problem solving, and mathematical problem solving folklore. Emphasis is placed on clarity of exposition and persuasiveness of written argument, and on development of communication skills. Students interested in MATH 480W are encouraged to take the course as soon as they meet the prerequisites, since performance in the Putnam Competition often improves with second and subsequent attempts. Prerequisite: MACM 201 with a grade of at least B. At least one of MACM 201, MATH 240, MATH 242, MATH 251, MATH 252 with a grade of at least A, or both of MACM 203, MACM 204 with a grade of at least A. Or permission of the instructor. Students with credit for MATH 370W may not take MATH 480W for credit. Writing/Quantitative.