Mathematics

CS531: Introduction to Web Application Development

Term: Semester 1

This project-oriented course introduces students to the fundamentals of web design. The first half of the course will be on learning the fundamentals of web page creation with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Students will learn to design and produce eye-catching websites. The second part of the course will focus on creating apps with PHP (a server-side scripting language) and MYSQL (an SQL database). Types of applications will include searching, calculation, games, database manipulation, and possibly mobile apps. During this course, students will learn the fundamental concepts of programming, including data types, conditional statements, loops, and structured design. The course culminates in an end-of-semester final project.

CS532: Game Design Using Java

Term: Semester 2

This course introduces the very popular Java programming language by using an approach that teaches students to design and program graphical and interactive applications. Students will use the GreenFoot programming environment, a simple graphics package, to create interesting programs while learning the fundamental concepts of data types, conditionals statements, loops, methods, arrays, inheritance, object-oriented design, and polymorphism. This course assumes no prior Java programming experience and prepares interested students to take the AP Computer Science course.

CS533: Computer Graphics & 3D Design

This course gives students hands on experience with 3D modeling and animation while also illustrating how this technology is used across many different industries. Projects throughout the course will highlight real-world problems that artists, programmers, and engineers solve using 3D software. Students will have an opportunity to collaborate as a class to simulate working in a computer graphics studio while learning industry techniques used to accelerate production. By the end of the course each student will have developed a CG Reel to showcase the 3D sculptures and animations they created throughout the course.

CS534: Computer Graphics and 3D Design

This course gives students hands on experience with 3D modeling and animation while also illustrating how this technology is used across many different industries. Projects throughout the course will highlight real-world problems that artists, programmers, and engineers solve using 3D software. Students will have an opportunity to collaborate as a class to simulate working in a computer graphics studio while learning industry techniques used to accelerate production. By the end of the course each student will have developed a CG Reel to showcase the 3D sculptures and animations they created throughout the course.

CS591: Independent Tutorial in Computer Science

Term: Semester 1

CS592: Independent Tutorial in Computer Science

Term: Semester 2

CS730: AP Computer Science A

Term: Year

This college-level course is taught using Java programming language. The objective of this course is to cover the topics required to prepare a student to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Computer Science. Permission of the Department is required.

CS991: Honors Independent Tutorial in Computer Science

Term: Semester 1

This is an opportunity for an individual or a group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. It may entail an advanced programming topic involving robotics, artificial intelligence, genetic programming, or other.

CS992: Honors Independent Tutorial in Computer Science

Term: Semester 2

This is an opportunity for an individual or a group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. It may entail an advanced programming topic involving robotics, artificial intelligence, genetic programming, or other.

CS995: Post-AP Computer Science

EC502: Principles of Marketing

Term: Semester 2

Students will learn the basic concepts and practices of marketing, as well as how successful organizations use marketing to achieve their objectives. Students will become familiar with the 4 Ps (product, price, place and promotion) of marketing. Coursework will include real world case studies, production of a commercial, and a group project in which students will develop a marketing plan for a product. Students will be required to develop and implement a marketing plan for a nonprofit cause. Guest speakers from local and national businesses will be invited to speak to the class and discuss their marketing experiences. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors.

EC512: Personal Finance

Term: Semester 2

This course will examine investing and wealth management over the life of the individual. Topics include building wealth early in one's life through educational investment, career choice, and entrepreneurship, as well as early debt management such as handling student loans. Mid-life topics will include the financial implications of marriage and children and decisions about when and where to buy a first home. Later life decisions will focus on planning for children's education and for retirement, and the issues concerning inheritance, financial legacy and philanthropy. Math skills and concepts developed will include decision tree analysis, break-even analysis, basic probability, basic statistics such as standard deviation and correlation coefficients, Monte Carlo simulation and exponential growth and compounding. The course will teach the basic use of spreadsheet software. Financial skills developed will include valuing assets with discounted cash flow analysis, reading financial statements and analyzing stock fundamentals. The teacher’s primary goal is for students to be able to construct both basic financial plans for each stage of their lives and also basic financial portfolios consistent with their objectives. Open to seniors. Prerequisite: Precalculus or permission of the Math Department head.

EC591: Independent Tutorial in Economics

Term: Semester 1

This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.

EC592: Independent Tutorial in Economics

Term: Semester 2

This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.

EC831: Macroeconomics

Term: Semester 1

This course introduces the principles of macroeconomics and prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination. The dual goals of the course are for students to be able to use economic thinking appropriately in their own lives and to understand current economic topics. Key topics include unemployment, inflation, gross domestic product, economic growth, fiscal and monetary policy, the financial system, and international economic interactions. Students are required to take the AP Macroeconomics after completing this course. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with the approval of the Department. Completion of MA 320 or the equivalent is required, and MA 425 or Calculus is recommended.

MA120: Algebra I

Term: Year

This first course in algebra is quite comprehensive. It stresses the fundamental properties of real numbers, solving linear equations and inequalities, multiplying and factoring a variety of polynomials, roots, and radical notation. Topics also include absolute value, systems of equations, and algebraic fractions. A primary goal is ease and accuracy in all sorts of algebraic manipulations. If students cannot solve quadratic equations both by factoring and formula, then they may need to take this course. Required for ninth graders who have not had a full year of Algebra I and recommended for those whose background in algebra is not strong.

MA220: Geometry

Term: Year

Euclidean geometry is covered in a standard sequence recommended by the Commission on Mathematics of the College Entrance Examination Board. Emphasis is placed on the deductive nature of this branch of mathematics, and on the use of algebra in solving a variety of geometry problems. Open to students who have completed a full year of high school algebra and score 70% or better on the Algebra I placement test.

MA230: Honors Geometry

Term: Year

This honors course follows the same syllabus as MA220, but concepts are covered in much more depth. Open to students who earned a 93 or higher in MA120 or scored exceptionally well on the placement test.

MA310: Algebra II & Trigonometry

Term: Year

This is a standard second course in algebra, geared to prepare students for MA 410—Precalculus. It continues the work of MA120, but is geared for students who may not be ready for the challenges of Accelerated Algebra II and Trigonometry. Algebraic facility and the concept of function are stressed. Additional topics include complex numbers, basic trigonometry, polynomials, rational functions, exponentials, and logarithms. Open to students, with permission of the department, who have completed a full year of algebra and geometry, as determined by the placement test (see the descriptions of MA120 and MA220).

MA320: Accelerated Algebra II & Trigonometry

Term: Year

This is a faster paced second course in algebra, geared to prepare students for MA 425—Honors Precalculus. It continues the work of MA120. Algebraic facility and the concept of function are stressed. Additional topics include complex numbers, basic trigonometry, conic sections, polynomials, rational functions, exponentials, and logarithms. Open to students, with permission of the department, who have completed a full year of algebra and geometry (see the descriptions of MA120 and MA220).

MA330: Honors Algebra II & Trigonometry

Term: Year

The honors course covers many of the same topics as MA320, but concepts are explored in much more depth. Open to students who earned an 87 or higher in MA230 or the equivalent.

MA410: Precalculus

Term: Year

This course is designed for students who have completed a second year algebra course, but who may not be ready for the challenges of the Honors Precalculus course. Many of the critical topics from algebra are reviewed with an eye towards enhancing the students' skills. While many of the topics do overlap with the Honors Precalculus syllabus, the pace in MA410 is more relaxed and flexible. Graphing, polynomials, exponentials, logarithms, trigonometric, and inverse trigonometric functions will be studied. Students who produce strong results will be ready to take Calculus (MA520) the following year. Open to students who have completed MA310, MA320, or the equivalent.

MA411: Precalculus for Seniors

Term: Semester 1

This course is designed for seniors looking to build upon the skills developed in Algebra II. This is a one-semester course only, and overlaps with much of the material covered during the fall semester of MA 410. Graphing, polynomials, exponentials, logarithms, and trigonometric functions will be studied. A few additional topics such as probability will be discussed to prepare students for college placement tests. Open to students who have completed MA310, MA320, or the equivalent.

MA425: Honors Precalculus

Term: Year

This course continues the work begun in MA320 but at a much more sophisticated level. The topics include the theory and graphs of functions and their inverses, exponentials, logarithms, trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, and rational functions. Well into the second semester, the course will introduce basic topics of differential calculus such as limits, continuity, the definition of the derivative, and techniques of differentiation. This course is a prerequisite for students planning to take Advanced Placement Calculus AB (MA830) or Advanced Placement Statistics (MA730). Open to students who have earned an 85 or higher in MA320 or the equivalent.

MA430: Honors Accelerated Precalculus

Term: Year

The honors division covers many of the same topics as MA425, but concepts are explored in much more depth. The pace of this course is also notably faster than that of MA425. This faster pace also allows MA430 to introduce topics from calculus sooner in the second semester. Limits, continuity, the definition of the derivative, and techniques of differentiation are studied as well as applications of the derivative. This challenging course prepares students to take Advanced Placement Calculus BC (MA840). Open to students who have earned an 87 or higher in MA330 or the equivalent.

MA511: Statistics I

Term: Semester 1

This course covers the basics of statistics and data analysis. Topics include collecting data through experiments and observational studies, displaying data through appropriate graphs and tables, analyzing central tendency and variation, and analyzing bivariate data through correlation and regression analysis. Open to students who have completed Precalculus, or by departmental permission.

MA512: Statistics II

Term: Semester 2

This course reviews the data analysis topics covered in Statistics I and then explores probability, random variables, and basic probability distributions such as the normal and binomial curves. These concepts are then used to learn how to estimate a mean or proportion and construct a confidence interval around this estimate. Finally, the course will examine the basics of hypothesis testing. This course can be taken as a continuation of Statistics I or as a stand-alone class.

MA521: Calculus I

Term: Semester 1

This course is designed as an introduction to single variable calculus at a slower pace than the AP level courses. Topics include limits and continuity, basic differentiation techniques, applications of derivatives such as min-max problems, and basic techniques of integration. Most applications will focus on polynomial functions.

MA522: Calculus II

Term: Semester 2

This course is a continuation of Calculus I. More advanced techniques for differentiation and integration will be explored such as implicit differentiation, integration by substitution, and integration by parts. More applications will incorporate exponential, logarithmic, or trigonometric functions.

MA591: Independent Tutorial in Mathematics

Term: Semester 1

MA592: Independent Tutorial in Mathematics

Term: Semester 2

MA730: AP Statistics

Term: Year

Statistics is the branch of mathematics which studies how to collect and interpret data. In addition to these ideas, this course will examine probability, which is the theory behind data analysis. It will also consider distributions, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, regression, and modeling. Students will take the Advanced Placement examination in May. Open to students who have earned an 80 or higher in MA425, a 97 or higher in MA410, or the equivalent.

MA830: AP Calculus AB

Term: Year

This course follows the development of ideas started in MA425. In the fall, the course will closely examine the theory behind and the applications of the derivative. A sure grasp of elementary functions and analytic geometry is required. The second half of the course focuses on the integral calculus. There will again be a mix of theory and applications. Students in MA830 will take the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination in May. Open to students who have earned an 85 or higher in MA425 or the equivalent.

MA840: AP Calculus BC

Term: Year

This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Calculus BC, which is designed to lead to a college sophomore honors course in the second-year calculus. Students will take the Calculus BC examination in May. Open to students who have earned an 87 or higher in MA430 or the equivalent.

MA990: Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

Term: Year

This course first introduces and explores the differentiation and integration of functions of more than one variable. Topics include vectors, partial derivatives, directional derivatives, gradients, optimization, Lagrange multipliers, double and triple integrals, vector fields, line integrals, flux integrals, and Green’s, Gauss’s, and Stokes' theorems. The remainder of the year is devoted to the study of linear algebra. Topics include systems of linear equations, matrices, vector spaces, determinants, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and linear transformations. Open to students who earned a 5 on the Advanced Placement BC exam.

MA993: Independent Tutorial in Mathematics

Term: Semester 1

This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.

MA994: Independent Tutorial in Mathematics

Term: Semester 2

This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.

Computer Graphics and 3D Design

Students in Taft's Computer Graphics and 3D Design class recently completed a project that simulated working in an animation studio. Students started by storyboarding the animation for a 3D space exploration scene, then each student was assigned a role similar to a position within a computer graphics studio to build the animation.