Mathematics Department

The goal of the Math Department is to provide a curriculum that enables each student to challenge himself to achieve to his fullest potential – in math and outside it, in high school and beyond. We help prepare students for the highest levels of science courses at St. Thomas, which require mathematical skills, and for their mathematics courses at the university level, as well. For many highly motivated students, this includes the challenge to earn college credit through the Advanced Placement program.

We endeavor to help students learn to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, the richness of its language, the elegance of its logic, the power of its applications, and the joy in discovering and understanding its ideas and results. In the passage above, Galileo is writing of these varied aspects of our subject.

Through our math courses, students hone their skills of careful and creative thought, and they begin to see mathematics everywhere: the abstract equations they learn to solve trace the path of a thrown ball or an orbiting planet; the number of opposing spirals on a pine cone or a pineapple (eight and 13), and the seed head of coneflower (34 and 55), are all related numbers, related in turn to the graceful spiral of a seashell and to ratios of lengths in a perfect pentagon!

Students use cutting-edge technology for their investigations: from CBR devices for their study of the mathematics of motion to the Geometer's Sketchpad to construct animated kaleidoscopic images applying the properties of congruence transformations.

MATHEMATICS COURSES

ALGEBRA I students study sets, sentences, properties of operations, monomials, polynomials, first degree equations, inequalities, word problems, special products, factoring, rational expressions, solving systems of equations, ratio and proportion, radicals, and linear graphs. TI30XIIS Calculator Required.

ACCELERATED ALGEBRA I provides additional challenges within and enrichment to the Algebra I curriculum. Geared toward students for whom an accelerated pace of study is more appropriate, it emphasizes additional challenges, depth, and creative problem-solving within the topics outlined in Algebra I. TI30XIIS Calculator Required.

ADVANCED ALGEBRA I/GEOMETRY consist of an accelerated Algebra One course (see Algebra One) and Advanced Plane Geometry (see below). Both Adv Algebra and Adv Geometry courses are covered within the year. TI30XIIS Calculator Required.

PLANE GEOMETRY is a study of lines, planes, constructions, proofs, angles, perpendicular lines, parallel lines, polygons, triangles, congruence, quadrilaterals, inequalities, ratio and proportion, similar figures, right triangles, circles, areas, volumes, and locus. TI30XIIS Calculator Required.

ADVANCED PLANE GEOMETRY is an in-depth study of the postulates and theorems involving lines, planes, angles, perpendicular lines, parallel lines, polygons, triangle congruence, quadrilaterals, inequalities, ratio and proportions, similar figures, right triangles, circles, areas, volumes, loci and transformations, with an emphasis on deductive arguments and proving theorems related to these geometric concepts. Pre-requisite: 93 in Algebra I/87 in Accelerated Algebra I and recommendation. TI30XIIS Calculator Required.

ALGEBRA II students study real numbers, polynomials, special products, factoring rational expressions, equations, inequalities, solving systems of equations, radicals, complex numbers, quadratics, conics, exponents, logarithms, and variations. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

ALGEBRA II/TRIGONOMETRY covers the tropics in Algebra II plus an extended overview of Trigonometry. Pre-requisite: 84 in Algebra I. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

ADVANCED ALGEBRA II/TRIGONOMETRY is a study of polynomials, special products, factoring, equations, radicals, quadratics, conics, inequalities, solving systems of equations, exponents, logarithms, trigonometric functions, formulas, identities, law of sines, law of cosines, and solutions of triangles. Pre-requisite: 85 in Adv Algebra I/Geometry or Adv Geometry for sophomores and 85 in Adv Geometry for juniors. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

TRIGONOMETRY/ALGEBRA III is a study of angles, right triangles, trigonometric functions, identities, equations, law of sines, law of cosines, trig graphs, trig inverses, an introduction to probability and statistics, and continuing the study of polar coordinates, exponents, logarithms, conics, rational expressions, and sequences and series. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

PRE-CALCULUS is a two semester course covering all of Trigonometry and other topics leading up to Calculus, including relations and functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, conic sections, graphing techniques, sequences and series, probability and statistics, and limits. Pre-requisite: 78-86 in Adv Algebra II/Trig or 78-89 in Algebra II/Trig or 83-94 in Algebra II and recommendation. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

ADV. PRE-CALCULUS provides an in-depth preparation for AP Calculus. Pre-requisite: 87 in Adv Algebra II/Trig or 90 in Algebra II/Trig or 95 in Algebra II and recommendation. TI84 Plus Silver Calculator Required.

REGULAR CALCULUS is a two-semester introduction to the fundamental concepts of Calculus covered in a first semester college course. Students will not take the Calculus AP test at the end of the year; rather, a school final exam will be given at the end of each semester. Pre-requisite: 70-74 in Advanced Pre-Calculus or 75-92 in Pre-Calculus. TI89 Calculator Required.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS AB is a two semester AP Calculus course covering the requirements set forth by the College Board for one semester of college calculus. The AP exam is taken in May. Pre-requisite: 93+ in Pre-Calculus; 75-92 in Advanced Pre-Calculus. TI89 Calculator Required.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC is a two semester AP Calculus course covering the requirements set forth by the College Board for two semesters of college calculus. The AP exam is taken in May. Pre-requisite: 93 in Adv. Pre-Calculus and teacher recommendation. TI89 Calculator Required.

On Campus

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