The Mathematics Department offers a traditional college preparatory program that adapts to the developmental needs of each student.
Skills are taught through a traditional sequence of courses that exposes students to the fundamental concepts, operations, and functions of mathematics. Whether formally structured inside the classroom or within the Math Lab (a daily tutorial workshop where students at all levels receive extra help), faculty work to build a student’s confidence along with proficiency in problem solving in a challenging and nurturing environment. As students experience success in learning mathematics, they grow in appreciation of its usefulness. Upon graduation, a St. Sebastian’s student will be a mathematically literate and a critical thinker, well prepared to succeed both in a rigorous college setting and in our increasingly technological world.
All students elect at least one mathematics course each year. Beginning with Algebra I, courses are offered on both honors and standard levels. Course offerings in mathematics include AP Statistics and AP Calculus at both the AB and BC levels, as well as AP Computer Science. All students who study at the advanced placement level must take the AP exam in May. The results on these exams in recent years have been impressive, with the vast majority of students earning 4’s and 5’s.
- Intro to Algebra
- Algebra I
- Algebra II
- Trigonometry & Statistics
- AP Statistics
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Computer Science A
- AP Computer Science Principles
- Multivariable Calculus
This course is designed to review and expand upon knowledge gained by students in their preceding mathematics courses. Students are introduced to basic concepts of algebra including variables, variable expressions, and solving equations while maintaining skills and facility with positive and negative integers, decimals, fractions, and percent. Emphasis is also placed on utilizing algebraic methods to solve real world problems.
Introduction to Algebra is designed for the boy who has completed Pre-Algebra and will benefit from a gradual exposure to Algebra One topics including polynomials, exponents, inequalities with an emphasis placed on solving equations. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to succeed in Algebra One.
This course provides students with an understanding of all the algebraic concepts necessary to continue study in mathematics. Topics covered include variables, open sentences, and equations of several types. The four fundamental operations applied to polynomials and real numbers are also taught. Students are introduced to basic graphing, quadratic equations and functions.
This course is a continuation of the concepts learned in first-year Algebra. New factoring methods are introduced as students work with the more difficult rational expressions and learn to solve higher order equations and inequalities. Topics include complex numbers, solving systems of equations, logarithmic and exponential functions, sequences, series, conics and analytic geometry with an emphasis on the relationship between an equation and its graph. Problem solving is emphasized throughout the course and the TI 83/84 is used extensively.
This course builds upon topics covered in Algebra II, with an emphasis on polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions, before launching into an in depth study of analytic trigonometry, sequences and series. An introduction to matrices, determinants, limits and vectors in the honors class adds to students’ preparation for the study of calculus. Students regularly use the TI83/84 calculator while developing skills to solve real world problems throughout this course.
This course is an elective for both juniors and seniors, in which students study a semester of trigonometry and a semester of statistics. Approached from a practical viewpoint, the trigonometry portion of the course exposes students to triangle trigonometry, radian measure, circular trigonometry and reference angles, graphs of trigonometric functions, inverse functions, identities, equations, vectors, and polar coordinates. In the statistics portion of the course, students study descriptive statistics, probability, the normal distribution, estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear regression is also addressed. The use of the TI83/84 calculator is extensive.
In this course, students explore differential and integral calculus topics from geometric, algebraic, and numerical approaches whenever possible. Formal definitions and principles evolve from investigating practical problems. Topics from pre-calculus are reviewed as necessary in preparation for study of related concepts in calculus.
This course is an upper-level elective that introduces students to the concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns and statistical inference. All students are prepared for and are required to take the AP Statistics exam in May.
Following closely the Advanced Placement curriculum, the AB course exposes students to topics and applications related to differential and integral calculus. Technology is used throughout the course to reinforce and broaden understanding. All students conclude the course well prepared, and required, to take the AP exam in May.
This intensive, college-level course requires of the student an especially strong mathematics preparation through the treatment of elementary functions. The course covers all topics covered in the Calculus AB course, as well as several additional topics. Topics common to both syllabi are treated in the same depth. All students are prepared for and are required to take the AP Calculus BC exam in May.
AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course introduces students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. The course gives students the opportunity to use technology to address real-world problems and build relevant solutions using Python language.
Advanced Seminar: This course is designed for the gifted student who has successfully completed Advanced Placement Calculus at the BC level. Topics include but are not restricted to single variable calculus topics not covered in the BC course, differential equations, linear algebra, and multi-variable calculus. Enrollment in this course requires the approval of the Assistant Headmaster (Academic Dean) and the Mathematics Department.