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Math

College Prep’s Mathematics Department develops students’ understanding and appreciation of mathematics. Our program is problem-based and student-centered. 
Using an approach that integrates the traditional areas of mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus) throughout four sequential levels of study, students become independent learners who excel in reading, writing about, exploring, applying, and communicating mathematical concepts. Our curriculum is structured around these principles:
  • Algebra is foundational as a modeling and problem-solving tool. 
  • Geometry in two and three dimensions is integrated across topics at all levels and includes coordinate and transformational approaches.
  • The study of vectors, matrices, counting, data analysis, and other topics from discrete mathematics is woven into core courses.
  • Computer-based and calculator-based activities are part of our courses.
  • Topics are explored visually, symbolically, and verbally.
  • The capacity to develop problem-solving strategies depends on an accumulated body of knowledge.
These principles are addressed in the integrated curricula of our courses through level four (level four courses include Applied Math, Math Analysis and Introductory Calculus). Placement tests are used to determine the appropriate level math class for each student. The program also offers opportunities for advanced work, including AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, and Multivariable Calculus. Math Club, open to all interested students, meets regularly to share ideas and investigate problems beyond the scope of the normal curriculum. Math Club also provides opportunities for students to prepare for local and national mathematics competitions.

List of 9 items.

  • Math 1

    This course develops foundational problem solving skills, the translation of prose into mathematical equations and diagrams, oral and written presentation of mathematical processes, and deep mathematical intuition. Students learn to use graphing calculators as an effective problem-solving tool. Topics from algebra and geometry are integrated and include: conversions and rates, proportional reasoning, area and perimeter, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, and coordinate geometry. 
  • Math 2

    In this class, topics include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Students learn techniques and theorems in context, as these are embedded in the problems. Building a repertoire of skills as they go, students take initiative in constructing knowledge. Through collaborative study, students develop their ability to reflect on and explain mathematical processes clearly. Topics covered include: lines, polygons and vectors, circles and parabolas, and right triangle trigonometry. Similarity and congruence are studied through the lens of transformations. An investigation of linear motion leads to the use of parameters and consideration of optimal paths of travel. 
  • Math 3

    This course explores nonlinear motion and nonlinear functions: circular motion and the functions that describe it, ellipses and hyperbolas, exponential and logarithmic functions, dot products and matrices, and geometry on the surface of the Earth. Logarithms are used to straighten nonlinear data and matrices are used to describe geometric transformations and various patterns of growth. This course is offered at two different levels. 
  • Applied Math

    Exploring a broad spectrum of topics, including pre-calculus, calculus, economics, finance, and statistics, the emphasis in Applied Math is on exposing students to a variety of techniques that will be useful in diverse pursuits. In the first semester, the course reviews and expands upon polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions, introduces limits, and explores mathematical modeling. Tools from calculus are introduced in order to perform relevant analysis of functions as applied to real-world contexts. In the second semester, course topics include set theory and probability, sinusoidal modeling, financial math (interest, annuities, and amortization), and further study of selected topics from calculus. 
  • Math Analysis and Introductory Calculus

    This course builds on the foundation of function and trigonometry from earlier courses and continues into introductory calculus. Analysis topics include: sequences and series; vectors, matrices, and determinants; polar and parametric functions; and complex numbers. Topics from discrete math include matrices, combinatorics, and probability. Trigonometry topics include sum/difference formulas and trigonometric identities. Vector topics include the dot product, the cross product, and their applications. Calculus topics include limits, first and second derivatives of the basic functions, applications to maxima and minima, and rates of change. 
  • AP Calculus (AB and BC)

    These yearlong courses cover differential and integral calculus at the college level. Calculus AB is the basic course, covering techniques and applications of derivatives and integrals. It prepares students for the “AB” AP Calculus Exam. Calculus BC covers the same material, as well as other topics such as infinite series and multivariable calculus; this course prepares students for the “BC” AP Calculus Exam. The department advises students on which course to take based on their previous math work at College Prep.
  • Multivariable Calculus

    This class is the extension of the concepts of differentiation and integration, which are introduced in single variable calculus, to functions of more than one variable. Students study parametric curves, polar coordinates, vectors in 2- and 3-dimensions, partial derivatives, the gradient, optimization in more than one variable, line integrals, multiple integrals, and the theorems of Green, Stokes, and Gauss (the Divergence theorem). This course contains a substantial amount of review of single-variable calculus and other topics, as necessary. To be eligible for this course, students must have completed AP Calculus AB or BC, have an insatiable love of math, and be willing to work very hard.
  • AP Statistics

    How accurate are opinion polls? Where is the economy really heading? Can you believe the latest “study” about health and diet? This course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. It is recommended for anyone who is interested in any field that uses data, including the sciences, engineering, social sciences, or business studies.  
  • AP Computer Science

    This yearlong introductory course is for students who plan to major in disciplines that require significant involvement with computing and data analysis. The class focuses on learning how to program in Java, good design principles, and using code to make something happen in the real world. Software development principles such as coding styles, testing principles, and documentation are also covered. Students are prepared to take the AP Computer Science A Exam at the end of the course. 

Math

List of 10 members.

The College Preparatory School

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right
Photo Credit: Dan Battle, Mark Compton, Bosky Frederick, Polly Lockman, Richard Wheeler, and Jonathan Zucker.