Math

The minimum math requirements for high school are Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and each have an SOL exam.  After Algebra 2, there are several different elective math course options available.  General recommendations will be made based on the grade level, current semester grade, and student interest.  Elective math courses include Pre-Calculus, Applied Calculus, AP Calculus courses, Probability & Statistics, AP Statistics, Trigonometry & Discrete Math, and Computer Science courses.

Additional information about electives:

Applied Calculus vs. AP Calculus AB

 

AP Calculus AB

  • Extremely fast paced.  You need to be a math student who catches on to new skills very quickly
  • New content taught in every class.  
  • You will need to use time outside of class to review / practice.  Not able to slow down due to having to teach all content prior to middle of April to prepare for AP Exam in early May.
  • Assessments are timed
  • Calculator use is restricted to match restrictions on AP Exam
  • Essentially an honors math class.   If you were previously in honors math and struggled, you will be dealing with many of the same challenges.
  • Assessments model AP Exam questions
  • Most appropriate if you are interested in a college / career path with a strong math emphasis
  • Best suited for students who earned an “A” in regular Precalculus or are already on an honors math track.

Applied Calculus

  • More of the pacing you experienced in regular Precalculus
  • Less content covered but still covers basics you would need to be successful in a college level Business Calculus or Calculus designed for non math majors.
  • Time given in class to review and practice skills
  • Calculator use is not restricted
  • Focus on how calculus is used / real applications versus theoretical problems
  • Grade based on combination of typical assessments and projects/labs
  • Students who earned anywhere from an “A” to a “B-“ in Precalculus can be successful.

AP Statistics

View the info below as a PDF

Many companies use statistics.  Business decisions are made based on market research.  Advertising executives want to know whether a new ad campaign significantly increases sales.  Doctors must know the reliability of medicine and treatments.  Products such as pharmaceuticals require significant evidence of effectiveness and safety.  Politicians rely on data from polls and public opinion.  Courts inquire about statistical significance in hearing class action discrimination cases. Any company that expects to obtain a government contract must have strong evidence of a statistical quality control program.  Statistical literacy is important as we are all consumers of goods and services and need to make intelligent choices.  Advanced Placement Statistics provides the opportunity for students to learn how to make good decisions with data.

This brochure is based on a similar brochure by Michelle Krummel of Wilde Lake HS, Columbia, MD.

AP Stats FAQ

What is AP Statistics?

AP Stats is a college level introductory course in statistics.  You’ll learn how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data.

Why should I take it?

Statistics is the most widely applicable branch of mathematics.  It is used by more people than any other kind of math.

How hard is AP Stats?

It’s a college course, so the expectations are high.  You’ll be assigned a full homework assignment for each class.  You will need to think hard about the concepts.

What is class like?

The course is for students who prefer a lab-based, student-center class with an emphasis on real world connections.

Do you have to be a top rate mathematician?

No. The course does not depend heavily on mathematics.  You only need Algebra II and not much of that.  Rather, you are asked to explore and explain concepts with the help of hands-on investigations while technology lowers the drudgery of computation.

Could I take statistics in college?

Yes.  Statistics is required for many majors, and strongly recommended for others.  However, most BB&N students receive AP grades high enough to be allowed to skip the introductory course.

Why should I take it at WHS?

At WHS, it’s a full year course in a small class so you’ll have more opportunities to explore, ask questions, and do your own true research studies. 

Would it be my only math course next year?

It can be for seniors.  If you are not a senior, it would be your second mathematics course.

Who can sign up?

You must have completed Algebra II and have the recommendation of your teacher.

Who does sign up?

This year’s course has 10th, 11th, and 12th graders and it is gender balanced.

Service!

Since the inception of AP Statistics, the class web site has provided examples of student work, investigations, and reference material to the international AP Statistics community.

What the Course Covers

The Four Major Components of AP Stat

  1. Experimental Design Students design appropriate experiments in order to draw conclusions that can be generalized to the population of interest.  Students will also interpret studies and experiments to determine whether the conclusions from the studies warrant consideration.
  1. Exploring Data Students collect and examine data and display the patterns that emerge.  Data from students in class as well as real world data sets are gathered and used to illustrate concepts.
  1. Producing Models Using Probability and Simulation Students learn to anticipate patterns and produce models for prediction.  Students use simulations to model situations that are not practical to replicate using other methods.
  1. Statistical Inference Students learn what can be generalized about the population.  Students also consider how to investigate research questions, design a study, and interpret the results.

Question? Come see Mr. Nolton in room E111 

AP Computer Science Principles

  • Equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course 
  • Surveys the big ideas of computing: creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the Internet, and global impact
  • Curriculum includes the art of programming but is not programming-centric
  • Student-led, project-based learning
  • An excellent course for a student to assess their interest in digital technology opportunities

 

  • No formal pre-requisites, but Algebra 2 is recommended
  • Coding/Programming experience is not required but welcome
  • Students should be prepared for independent, self-driven activities

Computer Science Foundations

  • First time course at Westfield High School
  • Similar to AP Computer Science Principles, but slower paced and less rigorous
  • Surveys the principles underlying computer science, including computing systems, networks and the internet, cybersecurity, data analysis, algorithms and programming, and impacts of computing
  • Students use programmable computing tools to facilitate design, analysis, and implementation of computer programs

 

  • No formal pre-requisites