COMING SOON "Ask The Expert" live event w/ the CC Dean, Sally Rubenstone, on Feb. 22 at 12:00 pm ET. This event is exclusively for registered members. CREATE YOUR CC ACCOUNT NOW to receive event updates!

# Math mavens, what's your recommendation?

misssassyinct
4 replies1 threads New Member

My son will be taking pre-calc as a freshman. His high school is recommending that he take BC Calc as a sophmore, multi-variable as a junior and whatever he wants at a local college when he's a senior.

Here's my thought: he likes math okay but it isn't his main interest and I see no need to go beyond multi-variable in high school. Other parents in this position have suggested he take AP Stats as a senior, but I don't want there to be a gap in calculus between his senior year and his first year of college. Would it be okay to take AP Stats as a freshman, then complete the sequence of pre-calc, BC Calc and multivariable?

This is my oldest, I'm not a math person, and I just don't have the experience to judge what's best. Your advice?

26 replies Here's my thought: he likes math okay but it isn't his main interest and I see no need to go beyond multi-variable in high school. Other parents in this position have suggested he take AP Stats as a senior, but I don't want there to be a gap in calculus between his senior year and his first year of college. Would it be okay to take AP Stats as a freshman, then complete the sequence of pre-calc, BC Calc and multivariable?

This is my oldest, I'm not a math person, and I just don't have the experience to judge what's best. Your advice?

## Replies to: Math mavens, what's your recommendation?

What are his favorite subjects?

His favorite subjects are social studies and writing. He likes math and science (especially the labs) but is not a fan of his Spanish and art/music classes.

If his interests in social studies head toward economics, that can be very math heavy at advanced (PhD, and upper level undergraduate at some colleges) levels. Multivariable calculus and linear algebra could be useful. Pre-PhD students may take more advanced math and statistics like real analysis and probability theory.

Regarding writing, depending on what he wants to write about, it can be advantageous to be a writer who can understand and explain advanced math and statistics concepts to general readers.

@momofsenior1 one can’t really take Stats “first” in high school and then progress through Calc. At our school, stats is taken instead of Calc after precalc for students who don’t want to take calculus. AP stats is taken as a second math class on top of the Calc sequence for most kids...except the ones who finish MV by junior year and then they usually take It senior year. The progression for most kids at the high school is geometry, algebra 2 trig, precalc, AP Calc (either AB or BC). All of that builds on each other. You wouldn’t interrupt that progression and take stats. For the super math kids, they’ve started this progression earlier in middle school and end up farther along in MV junior or senior year

OP just have your son take AP Stats. There’s no downside.

Although AP Stats as a senior isn't a terrible thing either - opens up the schedule a bit for all that app work. I think AOs understand that not all kids have the luxury out of out of school options.

Does his school offer Calc AB separately from BC? Some kids at our school do this if Math is not their strong suit/interest.

Also, he is still a Freshman and his aptitude and interests may change and he may choose to do more advanced Math or not!

It would definitely be ok, however taking it as a senior is more typically done after Calc or MV. Even though some colleges may waive the math requirement for non-stem, many colleges will have core requirements where you'd have to take two or maybe three math classes even if you get a 5 on the BC. He could take calc again but could be a waste of courses since he seems pretty talented in math, without any interest in it.

Wow. I’m glad my kids didn’t go to one of those schools. Two or 3 math courses beyond BC for non-stem? Well my econ major daughter took Calc 1 and she was done and my political science major son took one introductory stats course and he was done. One math course is all they had to take and a 5 on BC would have been more than enough to get them out if it.

I had no idea there were schools with such large math requirements for non-stem majors. Just out of curiosity, what schools are these?

Statistics and Data Science

Symbolic and Mathematical Reasoning

Followed by this statement:

"AP,IB and A-Level credits may not be used to meet distribution requirements."

Berkeley has 7 distribution courses for their Arts and Science majors, called the 7-course breadth, while math is not on there, biological science is one and physical is another one. Again, from the website

"Exams, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, cannot be used to fulfill breadth requirements."

The UCB L&S requirements for biological and physical science can be satisfied by courses for non majors that do not require calculus or higher math. There is also a quantitative reasoning requirement, but AP credit can fulfill that.

For Cornell, the courses that can fulfill its MQR requirement include those that are not that advanced and which are varied in math-related content (CS, music, philosophy, statistics, etc).

If you want a college with higher level math requirements for all majors, there are colleges like MIT, Caltech, Harvey Mudd.