MIDDLE SCHOOL COURSES

Prealgebra

This course reviews and extends the mathematical concepts necessary for algebra. Students investigate, discover, and apply mathematics using a variety of real-world situations. Topics include exponents, geometry, graphing, integers, linear equations, percentages, probability, proportion, ratio, rational numbers, and statistics. Problem-solving techniques, cooperative learning, and critical-thinking skills are emphasized through the use of manipulatives, computer software, and calculators.

Algebra I: Grade 7

This fast-paced course challenges students to develop traditional first-year algebra skills and apply them to complex problems. Students must have a thorough knowledge of prealgebra and be able to work at an accelerated pace. Nonroutine problems and special investigations give students the opportunity to think critically and use the problem-solving strategies they learn in class. Nightly homework follows the forty-minute standard of an eighth-grade course. Prerequisite: Placement test.

Algebra I

This course investigates traditional algebraic concepts using a variety of problem-solving strategies. Connections between algebra and real-world situations are emphasized. Students are expected to become proficient at solving, writing, and graphing linear equations, inequalities, and systems as well as in solving and graphing quadratic equations. Other topics include radicals and exponents. Prerequisite: Prealgebra and permission of current instructor.

Advanced Algebra I

This fast-paced course, designed for students with a mastery of prealgebra skills, investigates traditional algebraic concepts using a variety of problem-solving strategies. Students must develop skills quickly and then apply them to complex problems. Students are expected to become proficient in the mechanics of a given topic and in its application to word problems. Mastery is expected in solving, writing, and graphing linear equations, inequalities, and systems as well as in solving and graphing quadratic equations. Other topics include radicals, exponents, and rational expressions. Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor.

Algebra II

This course reviews and extends the concepts covered in the first year of algebra and geometry. Increasingly advanced algebraic skills are developed through the integration of principles introduced in those courses. Students solve a wide variety of equations and approach problems using different methods. They solve linear and nonlinear systems using algebraic and graphical methods. Topics include linear and quadratic equations; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and introductory rational functions; and analyses of sequences and series. Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Algebra, Algebra I, Advanced Algebra I, Geometry 9, Geometry, or Advanced Geometry.

Honors Algebra II

This course provides a study of second-year algebra with greater breadth, depth, and rigor than Advanced Algebra II. Topics include polynomial equations and inequalities; functions and their inverses; linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational functions and their graphs; logarithmic and exponential functions; sequences and series; conics; and systems of equations, including matrix solutions. Graphing calculators are used to reinforce students’ understanding of concepts. Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Geometry taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Advanced Geometry and A in Algebra I taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Advanced Algebra I, or Honors Geometry, and permission of current instructor.

Geometry

This course concentrates on Euclidean geometry while maintaining algebraic skills. Topics include congruent triangles, parallel lines, quadrilaterals and other polygons, the Pythagorean theorem, similar figures, circles, area, volume, coordinate geometry, an introduction to right-triangle trigonometry, and constructions. Students develop deductive reasoning skills through the use of proofs. Computer and/or other hands-on laboratory activities may be used to explore and discover geometric concepts. Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Advanced Geometry

This fast-paced, proof-based logic course concentrates on the study of Euclidean geometry while incorporating sophisticated algebraic techniques. Geometric concepts include congruent triangles, parallel lines, quadrilaterals, circles, similar figures, the Pythagorean theorem, perimeter, area, volume, regular polygons, and right-triangle trigonometry. Algebraic methods include solving quadratic equations, solving systems of equations, and simplifying radicals as they relate to geometry problems. Students use theorems and definitions to write proofs and solve practical application problems. The underlying theme of the course is the solution of problems by creating logical, well-supported explanations. Computer and/or other hands-on laboratory activities may be used to explore and discover geometric concepts. Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Honors Geometry

This course provides a study of Euclidean geometry and an introduction to transformational, coordinate, and three-dimensional geometries. It is fast-paced and challenges students to interpret complex written problems and write well-supported solutions to those problems and rigorous proofs. Students participate in nationwide mathematics contests. Prerequisite: Algebra I taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year, Advanced Algebra I, or Honors Algebra II and permission of current instructor.

Honors Precalculus

This course is open to students with exceptional algebra and geometry skills who show creativity in solving problems, enjoy mathematics, and are interested in exploring the subject in depth. Students study polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Other topics include De Moivre’s theorem, sequences and series, analytic geometry, conic sections, parametric and polar equations, and matrices and determinants. Graphing calculators help extend each student’s ability to explore and to do more interesting and difficult problems. Prerequisite: Honors Algebra II or A in Algebra II with Analysis or Advanced Algebra II and permission of current instructor.

Introduction to Programming I

This semester elective helps students develop problem-solving skills and exercise logical abilities. Students learn programming fundamentals in Java. Topics include input, output, variables, conditional control structures, random numbers, and loops. Programming assignments include a Fahrenheit-to-Celsius converter, a multiplication tutoring program, and rock-paper-scissors and Nim number games. Students produce simple graphics on the screen and learn how to output colorful geometric shapes and the fractal Sierpinski triangle. Students use BlueJ, a visual and interactive Java programming environment. Programming involves mathematical and logical reasoning; therefore, successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Advanced Algebra I or higher is recommended.

Introduction to Programming II

This semester elective is a continuation of Introduction to Programming I. Students write Java programs using Karel J. Robot, a robot simulator that introduces students to object-oriented programming concepts. Topics include methods, constructors, classes, objects, and inheritance. Tasks include programming a robot to complete a steeplechase and to escape a maze. Students write programs to determine if a word is a palindrome and to simulate the game of hangman. Students use BlueJ, a visual and interactive Java programming environment. Programming involves mathematical and logical reasoning; therefore, successful completion of Algebra I taken during the 2019–2020 school year or Advanced Algebra I or higher is recommended. Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming I.

Middle School Robotics

In this interdisciplinary elective, students use LEGO®’s EV3 and other systems to build robots. ROBOTC, a C-based language, is used to program them. Students practice real-world engineering, computer science, design, mathematics, and applied physics concepts. They learn hands-on building techniques combined with electronics and problem solving. Note that students who join the middle school’s robotics team are not required to take this course; conversely, students can take this course without joining the team.

UPPER SCHOOL COURSES

Algebra II

This course reviews and extends the concepts covered in the first year of algebra and geometry. Increasingly advanced algebraic skills are developed through the integration of principles introduced in those courses. Students solve a wide variety of equations and approach problems using different methods. They solve linear and nonlinear systems using algebraic and graphical methods. Topics include linear and quadratic equations; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and introductory rational functions; and analyses of sequences and series. Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Algebra, Algebra I, Advanced Algebra I, Geometry 9, Geometry, or Advanced Geometry.

Advanced Algebra II

This course reviews and extends the skills and concepts covered in algebra and geometry. Additional topics include complex numbers, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and an introduction to trigonometry. Students are introduced to curve analysis, optimization arguments, and concepts of limits. Prerequisite: One year of algebra, one year of geometry, and permission of current instructor.

Honors Algebra II

This course provides a study of second-year algebra with greater breadth, depth, and rigor than Advanced Algebra II. Topics include polynomial equations and inequalities; functions and their inverses; linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational functions and their graphs; logarithmic and exponential functions; sequences and series; conics; and systems of equations, including matrix solutions. Graphing calculators are used to reinforce students’ understanding of concepts. Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Geometry taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Advanced Geometry and A in Algebra I taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Advanced Algebra I, or Honors Geometry, and permission of current instructor.

Honors Precalculus

This course is open to students with exceptional algebra and geometry skills who show creativity in solving problems, enjoy mathematics, and are interested in exploring the subject in depth. Students study polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Other topics include De Moivre’s theorem, sequences and series, analytic geometry, conic sections, parametric and polar equations, and matrices and determinants. Graphing calculators help extend each student’s ability to explore and to do more interesting and difficult problems. Prerequisite: Honors Algebra II or A in Algebra II with Analysis or Advanced Algebra II and permission of current instructor.

Precalculus

This course introduces the study of trigonometric functions using both right-triangle and circular-function approaches. Trigonometric graphs and identities are examined as tools for solving trigonometric equations. The progression of skills taught in algebra and geometry is continued with topics including polynomial, exponential, rational, and logarithmic functions. Graphing techniques of translations, reflections, and scale changes are studied with respect to fundamental functions. The goal of this course is to prepare students for first-year college-level work in mathematics or an AP course, such as AP Statistics. Prerequisite: Algebra II or higher.

Advanced Precalculus

This course is for students who anticipate enrolling in any of the following AP courses: Calculus AB, Statistics, and Economics. Topics include the properties of the real number system, the theory of equations, coordinate geometry, relations, functions and their graphs, exponential and logarithmic functions, circular and trigonometric functions, sequences and series, and conic sections. The calculus ideas of limits and slopes of curves are introduced. The graphing calculator is used extensively throughout the course. Prerequisite: Algebra ll with Analysis, Advanced Algebra ll, or A in Algebra ll and permission of current instructor.

AP Calculus BC

This is a college-level course that prepares students for the BC-level AP examination in mathematics they are required to take in May. Topics include the precise definition of limits and continuity, the derivative, techniques of differentiation for the elementary functions, application of the derivative, area under a curve, integrals and the fundamental theorem, numerical methods of integration, integration techniques and applications, analysis of parametric and polar curves, improper integrals, vector-valued functions, infinite series, and elementary differential equations. Students must know the language of functions and be familiar with the properties, algebra, and graphs of functions. Prerequisite: Honors Precalculus or A in Precalculus taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Advanced Precalculus and permission of current instructor.

Multivariable Calculus

This course offers an in-depth study of the techniques and applications of calculus in higher dimensions. It covers in detail all of the topics traditionally covered in a third-semester college calculus course: differentiation of vector-valued functions, optimization, integration on manifolds, Stokes theorem, and the divergence theorem. Knowledge of these topics is necessary for students who plan on majoring in mathematics, physics, engineering, economics, statistics, or computer science. Prerequisite: B in AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus C.

Calculus and Statistics

This course introduces students to branches of mathematics that may be studied further in college. The essential themes of calculus (the limit, derivative, and integral) are introduced conceptually and reinforced through discussions, graphical analysis, and real-world problems. Sequences and series are examined algebraically and with spreadsheets. Statistical topics include describing and comparing data, sampling and experimental design, confidence intervals, probability, and normal and binomial distributions. Prerequisite: Precalculus: Trigonometry and Functions taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year, Precalculus, or Advanced Precalculus.

AP Statistics

This course prepares students to master the theory and practice of four broad themes in statistics: describing data (exploratory data analysis), collecting data (sampling, experimental design, sampling design), understanding random behavior (constructing simulations, probability), and making conclusions from data (inference). Students collaboratively analyze case studies, design and implement statistical experiments, and learn to identify the necessary conditions and mechanics for hypothesis testing. They also gain proficiency with statistical software. Students must take the AP Statistics examination in May. Prerequisite: Advanced Precalculus, Calculus and Statistics, Precalculus taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year, or A in Precalculus taken during the 2020–2021 school year or Precalculus: Trigonometry and Functions.

AP Calculus AB

This is a college-level course that prepares students for the AB-level AP examination in calculus they are required to take in May. Topics include the algebra of functions and advanced graphing techniques, limits and continuity, the derivative and its applications, techniques of differentiation for the elementary functions, area under a curve, integrals and their applications, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. Concepts are presented on an intuitive level without rigorous proof. A graphing calculator is used throughout the year. Tests and quizzes rely heavily on problem-solving ability; graded problems are not always exactly like homework or in-class problems. Students are expected to apply general concepts in new situations. Prerequisite: Mathematical Analysis Honors, Precalculus taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year, Advanced Precalculus, Introduction to Calculus Honors, or A in Precalculus: Trigonometry and Functions or Precalculus taken during the 2020–2021 school year and permission of current instructor.

AP Calculus C

This course prepares students for the BC-level AP examination they are required to take in May. After reviewing material from the prerequisite courses, students learn precise definition of limits, numerical methods of integration, advanced integration techniques, analysis of parametric and polar curves, improper integrals, vector-valued functions, infinite series, and elementary differential equations. Additional numerical and calculator methods, including slope fields and Euler’s method, are introduced. Tests and quizzes rely heavily on problem-solving ability; graded problems are not always exactly like homework or in-class problems. Students are expected to apply general concepts in new situations. The approach is more mathematically rigorous and includes more proof than in AP Calculus AB. Prerequisite: Introduction to Calculus Honors or AP Calculus AB and permission of current instructor.

Honors Seminar in Mathematics

This seminar is for students who have demonstrated ability and interest in studying mathematics beyond the level of calculus. Topics include multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Differential equations, constructing proofs, topology, elementary real analysis, and elementary number theory may also be covered. The focus is on exposing students to different branches of mathematics and developing their ability to think and communicate mathematical ideas at the advanced level. Students participate in a variety of mathematics problem-solving competitions throughout the year. The majority of class time is spent in discussion and working with peers and the instructor. Prerequisite: An AP Calculus BC or C course.

Number Theory

Students continue to develop proof-writing skills and are introduced to different concepts in number theory. The course begins with a review of proof techniques and introduces the art of combinatorial proofs. It transitions into an elementary number theory course, covering polygonal numbers, discrete calculus, primes and prime factorizations, Euler’s totient function, modular congruences, ciphers, divisor-counting functions, amicable pairs, perfect numbers, the Möbius function, and quadratic residues and reciprocity, culminating in the proof of Fermat’s two squares theorem. The course finishes with analytic number theory topics: big O notation, function analysis, prime number distribution, harmonic numbers, the Basel problem, and the Riemann zeta function. Along the way, the Java programming language and the PARI/GP computer algebra system may be used to further enhance the depth to which topics are studied. Students use and develop a proficiency in LaTeX typesetting software to compile homework. Topics from other areas of mathematics are developed as necessary. Additional topics may be covered if time permits. Previous experience with Java, PARI/GP, and LaTeX is not required. Prerequisite: Honors Seminar in Mathematics or Multivariable Calculus.

AP Economics

This course introduces students to the principles of micro- and macroeconomics. The microeconomic portion of the course focuses on the pervasive problem of scarcity and how individual choices, incentives, and systems of prices affect the allocation of limited resources among competing uses. This includes an analysis of the effect of competition, cartels, monopolies, and government regulation on resource allocation and human welfare. The macroeconomic portion of this course is an introductory study of the domestic and international factors affecting national income, inflation, and unemployment. Among these factors, the role of money and government taxation and expenditure policy is emphasized. Students must take the AP examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics in May. Prerequisite: B in Precalculus taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year, B in Advanced Precalculus, A- in Precalculus: Trigonometry and Functions taken prior to the 2020–2021 school year or Precalculus taken during the 2020–2021 school year, or higher.

AP Computer Science A

This course introduces students to the principles of computer science. Students learn the guiding principles of object-oriented software design and programming in Java. They apply concepts such as abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and arrays to solve problems. Topics include algorithm design, writing classes, programming principles, class hierarchy, inheritance, and interfaces. Material is introduced in presentations that are reinforced through homework. Students are assigned laboratory exercises to develop their ability to create solutions to problems in realistic situations. Students enrolled in this course must take the AP Computer Science A examination in May and may not take AP Computer Science A and The Principles of Computer Science concurrently. Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming II or The Principles of Computer Science and permission of current instructor.

The Principles of Computer Science

This course introduces seven big ideas in computing: creativity in arts and science, abstraction, problem analysis using data, algorithms, programming, the Internet, and the societal impact of computing. Students develop simulations to explore questions that interest them. Works are created that measure: 1) students’ exploration of the impact of computing on social, economic, and cultural life and 2) their creation of a computational artifact through the design, development, and testing of software. Students may not take The Principles of Computer Science and AP Computer Science A concurrently.

Honors Design and Data Structures

Students extend skills learned in the prerequisite course through an investigation of abstract data structures and practical program design. The Java programming language is used, but the course stresses universal programming concepts that can be applied to most languages. The course covers implementations and performance analyses of arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, heaps, maps, and graphs, including Java’s implementation through the Java collections framework. Practical skills, such as basic graphical user interfaces and I/O, complement these theoretical topics. Critical programming concepts such as abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and top-down design are reinforced as students create complete executable programs from start to finish. Students choose the proper data structures to create solutions to tasks such as spell-checking, lossless data compression, and Markov chain-based text generation. Prerequisite: AP Computer Science A.

Honors Topics in Computer Science

This course for students who wish to extend their knowledge of computer science and sample a variety of advanced topics includes computer security and hacking, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced algorithmic techniques (such as dynamic programming and divide-and-conquer), multithreading and concurrency, and the unsolved P vs. NP problem. Throughout the year, students give presentations related to each of these subjects. They are exposed to C and Python programming languages and learn to code in Swift and C#. Students also learn programming for iOS and UNITY, enabling them to develop advanced projects independently. Students are evaluated on the quality and overall design of these projects and present them at the end of the year. Topics may change depending on advances in computer science as well as the interests and needs of the class. Prerequisite: Honors Design and Data Structures.