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Carnegie Mellon team places second in 76th annual Putnam Math Competition

The 76th annual William Lowell Putnam Competition, a mathematics competition for undergraduate students, took place in December of last year. It was recently announced that the team from Carnegie Mellon University landed second place in this prestigious competition. This marks the fifth consecutive year that a team from Carnegie Mellon has landed among the top five teams in this competition, thus making Carnegie Mellon home to many of the nation’s best math experts.

The competition took place on Dec. 5, 2015, with 4,275 undergraduate students from 554 institutions in America and Canada participating in the event. Students utilized their creative thinking and concepts knowledge taught in college mathematical courses to solve 12 complex mathematical problems in the course of six hours.

Representing Carnegie Mellon University was senior science and humanities scholar Linus Hamilton, junior mathematical sciences major Thomas Swayze, and sophomore mathematical sciences major Joshua Brakensiek.

“Teaching our students problem-solving skills that will help them to succeed in all of their future endeavors is at the heart of our math curriculum,” said Po-Shen Loh, an associate professor of mathematical sciences at Carnegie Mellon and the team’s coach. “Our sustained success in the Putnam shows that some of the best math students are gathering here at Carnegie Mellon and thriving.”

The efforts of these students has allowed Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Mathematical Sciences in the Mellon College of Science to receive $20,000, with each of the three team members receiving an $800 cash prize.

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama faculty members win awards for costume design

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama faculty members Susan Tsu, Bessie F. Anathan Professor of Costume Design, and Suttirat Larlarb, associate professor of costume design, have won the Theatre Development Fund Irene Sharaff Award. The award is regarded as being a high honor for American costume designers.

Tsu, an active costume designer for 40 years, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award and Larlarb has been awarded the Young Master Award.

Tsu’s designs have been included in hits such as “Godspell” and “The Joy Luck Club.”

“Of course it’s a great honor,” Tsu said in a statement to the University. “When I think about the number of incredibly talented designers in this country and some of the people I’m following and the number of designers I’ve been influenced and inspired by, I feel even more honored to be recognized in this way.”

Larlarb’s work has been included in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, in the recent biopic Steve Jobs, and in the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland.”

In a statement to the University Larlarb states “When I came back from the Olympics, after doing something that massive and that impactful on the world, it almost seemed greedy to just keep building my career without giving something back ... Part of me was coming to teaching because I wanted to try to instill the things I’d seen and learned and observed and challenge students to be better.”
The awards ceremony will take place on May 20 in New York City.