The courses offered by the Mathematics Department provide discipline in clear thinking and logical reasoning, both inductive and deductive. By investigating topics from different viewpoints—algebraic, graphic, verbal, numeric and real world—students learn appropriate techniques of problem solving in order to focus as much on the process as on the product. All students are prepared at appropriate levels for the College Board SAT I and SAT II. Our course of study typically culminates with one of the two levels of Advanced Placement Calculus and/or Advanced Placement Statistics, or the study of Finite Mathematics, with its emphasis on the kinds of modeling, economics, probability, statistics and data analysis that are used in the social sciences.
At all levels, technology plays an important part. Teachers use SmartBoards extensively, and all students use TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculators. Additionally, in Geometry, students use computer software to study their subject dynamically,and various other courses use statistical packages and/or spreadsheets on the computer for further exploration and analysis of data. In all cases, the appropriate uses of technology are emphasized, more to enhance the student’s capacity to explore mathematics without the burden of undue computation than to foster reliance on the technology. Department assessments may be given both with and without available technology.
The department expects students to acquire sound mathematical literacy, applicable technological skills and an interest in the subject in preparation for their college and work experience beyond Belmont Hill.