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Upper School
Upper School

Mathematics

It is the goal of the mathematics department that every student will develop a competence in fundamental mathematical processes and a foundation for logical thinking. In accordance with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards, an emphasis is placed on problem-solving techniques. TI-84 Plus graphing calculators are introduced in Algebra I and used extensively beginning in the second year of algebra. In our highly technological society all young women must increase their mathematical sophistication so that their future career options will be kept open.

The study of mathematics is required through the junior year and strongly recommended for senior year. Every student must complete two years of algebra and a year of geometry. The mathematics department places a student in the course and level most appropriate to her aptitude and preparation. Placement in all math classes is based on departmental recommendation and is determined by a student’s overall academic performance as well as a good aptitude for mathematical reasoning and active learning.

Courses in this department:

Math

Algebra I

Credit: 1 (if taken in 9th grade or above)

Students entering this class are expected to have already studied positive and negative numbers, the basic properties of numbers, and simple equations. The course covers all topics of elementary algebra, including verbal problems, factoring, graphing of linear equations, radicals, solving linear and quadratic equations, and linear systems.

Honors Algebra I

Credit: 1 (if taken in 9th grade or above)

This course is for students who have a strong background in arithmetic facts and skills and in elementary algebra, including positive and negative numbers, the basic properties of numbers, and simple equations. They must have demonstrated a good aptitude for mathematical reasoning. The course covers all topics of elementary algebra, including verbal problems, factoring, algebraic fractions, graphing of linear functions, radicals, solving linear and quadratic equations, systems of equations, variations, and the quadratic formula.

Geometry

Credit: 1

This course is for students who had had a full year of elementary algebra. Plane geometry relationships are developed as part of a logical system, and the student learns to write short proofs based on these relations. Algebraic and numerical applications are provided, and units on right triangle trigonometry, three-dimensional figures, and coordinate geometry are included.

Honors Geometry

Credit: 1

This course is for students who have a strong mathematical background, good insight, and solid problem solving skills. Plane geometry relationships will be explored in depth with algebraic and numerical applications provided. Units on congruence, similarity, polygons, right triangles, trigonometry, circles, plane and solid figures, and coordinate geometry will be included.

Algebra II

Credit: 1

This course is for students who have had a full year of elementary algebra. The year consists of a review and extension of Algebra I topics including inequalities, linear equations, operations with polynomials, and application of algebraic skills through verbal problems. Additional topics include functions, complex numbers, and quadratics graphs.

Honors Algebra II

Credit: 1

This course is for students who have a strong background in elementary algebra, including systems of equations, radicals, and quadratics. They must have demonstrated a good aptitude for mathematical reasoning. This course begins with an extension of Algebra I topics and continues with the study of complex numbers, quadratic functions, rational and polynomial functions, rational and polynomial functions, exponents, radicals and logarithms.

Trigonometry

Credit: 1

This course consists of a review of advanced algebraic topics as well as an exploration of basic trigonometry. The algebraic topics include quadratic functions and their applications, composite and inverse functions, exponents, radicals and logarithms. The study of trigonometry consists of right triangle and general triangle relationships and applications, the unit circle, and sine and cosine graphs.

Precalculus

Credit: 1

This course is for students who have a strong background in advanced algebraic topics. The transition from a focus on algebraic skill building and processes to that of their application and conceptual analysis is a challenging one that students must make in this challenging course. Students are expected to be quite proficient with a graphing calculator and to extract information from the textbook effectively in order to make connections and to contribute to class discussions and discoveries. Topics reviewed and studied consist of various functions (including compositions, inverse, polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic) and trigonometry.

Honors Precalculus

Credit: 1

This course is for students who have a strong background in advanced algebraic topics and have demonstrated a good aptitude for mathematical reasoning and intellectual curiosity. The transition from a focus on algebraic skill building and processes to that of their application and conceptual analysis is a challenging one that students must make in this challenging course. Precise arithmetic and algebraic skills are essential to ensure accurate data for proper analysis and to attain a strong level of command and understanding of the concepts studied. Students are expected to be quite proficient with a graphing calculator and to extract information from the textbook effectively in order to make connections and to contribute to class discussions and discoveries. Topics reviewed and studied consist of several types of functions (including compositions, inverse, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and circular) and an introduction to limits.

Honors Calculus

Prerequisite: Precalculus or Honors Precalculus
Credit: 1 


This course is a survey of topics in Calculus from limits and continuity to basic differentiation. It is an opportunity for students to integrate ideas from algebra and geometry to do analytical applications of trigonometry, rational functions, compositions and logarithmic functions. It is a course geared toward deeper understanding of the material but without the focus being on preparing for the AP exam. Students enrolled in this course will not be permitted to take the AP Calculus exam.

Advanced Calculus

Prerequisites: Honors Precalculus, Recommendation of Department
Credit: 1 


The methods and techniques of differential and integral calculus are developed and applied to algebraic, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions. Students are required to use a graphing calculator.

Applications of Advanced Mathematics

Open to Grades: 11-12, and Sophomores with Approval of Instructor
Prerequisite: Completion of Precalculus
Credit: 1 


Students will focus on a "problem" they identify in our society or a global issue that interests them. The problem could be based in nature, culture, society, current events, historical events, or even based in human behavior. As a class we will collect data related to the topic and use statistical methods and advanced applied mathematics to interpret and communicate findings, make recommendations, and draw conclusions. Collaboration with another field of study is inevitable but will be determined by what the students decide to study. Alongside gathering data, students will also learn and research the facts surrounding their proposed problem. The underlying goal of the course would be to learn how to use mathematics to both interpret facts and communicate ideas persuasively.

Introduction to Computer Science

Open to Grades: 10-12
Spring Semester
Credit: .5 


This course focuses and engages the entire discipline of computer science. By demystifying computer hardware and how it works, using computer software and exploring design and implementation, problem solving and developing software, and understanding how computers, people and society interoperate in this course, we will look to build quantitative reasoning skills and a basis for future survival and exploration in our advancing world.

Advanced Computer Science

Open to Grades: 11-12, and Sophomores with Approval of Instructor
Credit: 1 


Advanced Computer Science aims to introduce students to a broad array of concepts in Computer Science. Students will use the Java programming language to explore complex problem solving, algorithm design and implementation, writing programs from scratch, and building on what others have given us. Topics include Data Structures, Loops, Arrays, Searching and Sorting, Formal Logic, Decision Processing, and much more.

 
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Commencement 2015