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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Monthly problems


Here are the Monthly Problems from last year. Not many people attempted it. They are kept here, with solutions removed, so that you can work on them, and discuss them if you wish, and gain some experience.

Why work on problems?

Working on problems is an integral part of learning mathematics. Applications of mathematics often involve solving interesting and unconventional problems. We hope to use the monthly problem sets to provide you, students of Laurier, with the opportunity of working with some challenging problems. You should click the links in the table below to obtain files containing the problem sets.

The problem sets posted here may not directly relate to any of the courses. On the other hand, they may require you to look at the things you learned in a new way or combine them in a creative fashion.

NO prizes or other incentives are associated to any of these problem sets. The only benefit lies in your working on them.

Please do not hesitate to let us know your ideas and suggestions.

Note: There are often more than one way of working with these problems. The posted solutions only point at one of the many ways. You are encouraged to look for your own way of doing it even after the solutions are posted.

Putnam training sessions:

You might also be interested in the Putnam Competition. We have weekly training sessions during the fall semester, and you might want to attend and learn more problem solving and get more problems to solve.


  • Starting from September 2013, we will post here a new problem set on the first Wednesday of each month in the academic year.
  • You are to work on the problems in the set, and try to come up with solutions, during the following month.
  • We will post solutions at the same time when the next set of problems is posted.
  • You are encouraged to discuss problems with other students, look up and learn whatever is necessary to understand and solve problems, and / or talk to
    • the coordinators of student competitions (contact info after the table)
    • and anyone you think might be helpful
  • Your object is to come up with your own solutions to problems. You are allowed to use any known results or methods (as long as you understand them and can explain them clearly, even those that haven't appeared in any of your courses.
  • You may submit your (typed up) complete solution to any problem to either of the coordinators of student competitions. We will post it in the column Possible Alternative Solutions below.
  • Problems and solutions:

    Faculty member
    Problem sets
    Possible alternative solutions
    Sept. 2013
    Dr. Ed Wang
    Sept. 4th

    Oct. 2013
    Dr. Adam Metzler
    Oct. 2nd

    Nov. 2013
    Dr. Connell McCluskey
    Nov. 6th

    Dec. 2013
    Dr. Cristina Stoica
    Dec. 4th

    Jan. 2014

    Feb. 2014
    Dr. Roman Makarov Feb. 5th

    Mar. 2014
    Dr. Manuele Santoprete Mar. 5th


    Dr. S. Hu and Dr. P. Zhang

    Shengda Hu
    25 July, 2013

    Last updated: September 17th, 2014