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Press Release:


FAU Mathematics Student Receives Honors
in Prestigious National Competition

BOCA RATON, FL (April 17, 2009) – The department of mathematical sciences, located within Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, recently announced that FAU mathematics student Oleg Rudenko placed in the top 16 of the 2008 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Rudenko was one of 3,627 students to recently compete in this prestigious contest, which was given at 545 participating colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

 “It is a very rare occurrence for a student in Florida to place in the top 16,” said Dr. Stephen Locke, professor and assistant chair of the mathematical sciences department.   “The top five schools winning in this competition were Harvard, Princeton, M.I.T., Stanford and Cal-Tech, so we are extremely pleased for Oleg, as well as the recognition this honor brings to FAU.”

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, most often referred to as “The Putnam,” was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband. Rudenko received a $1,000 prize by placing in the top 16.    

Physics Nobel Prize winners Richard Feynman and Kennth G. Wilson are past awardees of “The Putnam.” Also, John Nash, an economics Nobel Prize winner, whose life story was the focus of the Academy Award-winning movie, A Beautiful Mind, was a Putnam award winner. The exam has been offered annually since 1938 and is administered by the Mathematical Association of America.   Using only basic knowledge of college mathematics and extensive creative thinking, each competitor works to solve 12 problems which are given over a two to three-hour sitting.

Rudenko received his bachelor’s of science degree in December 2008 and is currently in the graduate program of mathematical sciences at FAU.


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.   

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