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Honors Advanced Math course guide

The information and policies in this guide are subject to change. Course homework assignments can be found using the link above.

Course Description

Honors Advanced Math is a fast-paced, upper-level mathematics course designed to prepare students for any of the upper-level mathematics courses, particularly, but not exclusively, the calculus courses.  A description of the exact content of the course can be found in the LHS Program of Studies.   We will cover roughly chapters 1-9 in our primary text, giving more or less emphasis to certain sections.  Homework assignments will be posted at the beginning of each unit outlining what material will be covered before all exams though they may be changed or expanded as the unit goes on.

 

Before you begin this course, I think it would be valuable to look closely at the expectations the LHS Mathematics Department has for students in the honors level courses:

 

Honors courses progress at a very fast pace covering the greatest breadth and depth of topics. Students are expected to have mastered the skills and thoroughly understood the concepts covered in prior courses. They are expected to have retained this past knowledge, which will generally not be reviewed in the course. Mathematical concepts are often introduced at an abstract and theoretical level. New ideas are often developed through student investigation with minimal guidance from the teacher. Students will be expected to apply their knowledge to open-ended and non-routine problems. Students will sometimes be expected to learn material by reading the textbook and/or solving problems on their own. Typical classes include minimal review of homework and previously covered material. Students are expected to be highly self-motivated, taking the fullest responsibility for their own learning and seeking help when needed. The course is designed to meet the needs of a student who thrives in a more independent learning environment.

 

This statement is consonant with my philosophy for this class. Keep this ideal in mind when evaluating the flow of the class.  If this description does not appeal to your goals or expectations, come talk to me about what you'd like to get out of your mathematics courses.

 

Material Requirements: books and calculator

We will use two textbooks.  The primary text will be Demana, Waits, Foley, and Kennedy, Precalculus: Functions and Graphs, Fifth Edition.  In addition, we will occasionally use an older textbook, Richard Brown, Advanced Mathematics, which possesses a superior treatment of certain topics.  On reserve in the library is a copy of the complete solutions manual for the Demana textbook (yes, complete means solutions to every single problem in the book).  Another copy is available in the Math Staff Room.   If you would like to purchase a copy of the Student's Solution Manual (odds only), you can purchase directly from the publisher's website.   Some other free supplementary materials are available on the web at www.awl.com/demana.

 

Since this course requires extensive graphing calculator problem solving, students will be required to have a good, modern graphing calculator. A TI-83/84 (or TI-83/84 Plus) is strongly recommended. If for any reason you are unable to acquire a calculator, the Math Department offers a TI-83 Loaner Program and we can loan you a calculator for the year.  Certain advanced calculators with symbolic algebra features (such as the TI-89 and TI-91) will not be permitted during tests as they would provide an unfair advantage.

 

Class Requirements

There is a single rule governing conduct in this class.

 

   1. Be respectful to your classmates and your instructor .

 

If I ever feel that you have violated this basic tenet I will ask you to briefly stay after class to discuss the issue. If necessary, I will ask you to stay after school (during Z block) to discuss the issue further. Such action will generally be followed by parental and administrative notification. Actions that I consider disrespectful include tardiness, belligerence, excessive talking, or any other inappropriate or childish action.

 

You should plan on bringing your calculator every day.  I may occasionally ask you to bring a textbook to class as well.   When I do, make sure you bring it.

 

Grading

Tests and major quizzes (80%). A chapter test will be given at the end of each chapter and a major quiz may be given in the middle of any chapter. You should anticipate a major quiz or test every couple of weeks. I do not allow retakes of tests. This policy will be further detailed in class at an appropriate time.

 

Homework (20%). The homework grade is composed of homework checks, and small quizzes. You should expect some type of homework assessment each week. When I check homework or give a pop homework quiz, forgetting your homework is not an excuse.   In the event that there are few of this type of assessment in a given quarter, the quarter grade may be calculated from the test/major quiz grades entirely.

 

The cumulative final exam in this class will count for 16% to 20% of the total final grade.

 

Absences and Makeup Tests

Whenever you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you have missed. I will provide reasonable support to help you catch up. If you are absent the day of a test you will be required to make that up sometime on the day you return. If at all possible you should contact me ahead of time to make arrangements. I check email frequently and often that is the best way to inform me that you will be absent. My address is below.

 

Contact Information

My office is located in room 713, the math department office area. The best way to contact me outside of class is to email me at my school address: dhaupt@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us or just drop by my desk in 713.  I generally keep very open office hours.  I encourage you to come see me whenever you are unclear about the homework or the class materials.  This is a very challenging course; you don't want to fall behind. I'd like to help you if you'll let me know you're struggling.  Work hard and good luck with this academic year. Many students find this material to be the highlight of their high school mathematical experience. Keep a positive attitude and you may agree.