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Mathematics

William Darling, Department Chair

Math has a central place in our daily lives (how do you double a recipe or figure out sales tax?) and in many of our most significant innovations. Suspension bridges, airplanes, robotic surgery, and the computer algorithms that bring us social media all rely on creative applications of math. As we ready students for a future we cannot entirely predict, we are confident that quantitative reasoning, creative problem solving, and simple hard work will remain essential.

Friends’ Central’s math department combines a belief in the ability of our students to rise to intellectual challenges and a program that offers a high degree of flexibility in course selection and sequence. For example, students can design a sequence that includes a year of calculus without doing additional summer work. More advanced students have the opportunity to progress through the third level of calculus within our curriculum. Friends’ Central facilitates independent study or enrollment in math classes at nearby colleges and universities for students who exceed the third level of calculus.

All students are required to take three math courses; the majority take one each year. Most classes have both a regular and an advanced level offered. Some students choose to accelerate by taking a summer course. A typical Upper School path includes algebra II, precalculus, and calculus.

While many students take two years of calculus before graduating, others choose statistics over a second year of calculus. We also offer a third year of calculus (Topics in Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra).

We have an active math team, and many students compete successfully in national and international mathematics competitions.