The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate college students enrolled at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada. Each year on the first Saturday in December, students spend 6 hours (in two sittings) trying to solve 12 problems. Cash prizes for the top five teams in recent years ranged from \$5,000 to \$25,000. Recent cash prizes for the top five individuals have been \$2,500 each. It is considered by many to be the most prestigious university-level mathematics examination in the world.
The competition was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband William Lowell Putnam, who was an advocate of intercollegiate intellectual competition.The Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize was established in 1992 to be "awarded periodically to a woman whose performance on the Competition has been deemed particularly meritorious". The exam has been offered annually since 1938 and is administered by the Mathematical Association of America. See the Mathematical Association of America and Wikipedia for more information.
The Rasor-Bareis-Gordon Mathematics Exam is held each year by the Department of Mathematics of The Ohio State University. Cash awards to the winners of these contests come from the correspondingly named endowment funds honoring G.M. Bareis, K.D. Gordon and S.E. Rasor of OSU.