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BEST MATH Programs at BS

InventInvent - Posts: 521 Member
edited October 2010 in Prep School Admissions
Does any one know which of the TOP BS (GLADCHEMMS) have the BEST MATH programs?
Post edited by Invent on
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Replies to: BEST MATH Programs at BS

  • TomTheCatTomTheCat Registered User Posts: 1,659 Senior Member
    Exeter is very well-known for its math program. Its course offerings in math go four years beyond AP Calculus BC, I think. And, for a high school, that's very impressive, and what's equally impressive is that they do manage to fully populate these classes.

    I go to Andover and I can say that their math program is also very impressive, also allowing students to go way beyond what is normally offered in a high school environment. AP exam results are consistently extremely impressive, though, of course, there are many classes that go far beyond the AP curriculum. To give you a sense of the strength of the math program, the AP calculus BC class I took this past spring, Math 580, was almost half freshmen. I was an Upper (11th grader). The freshmen in that class will all be able to continue taking math for the duration of their time at Andover, if they so choose. There are classes for students that advanced, and for the odd student who runs out of math offerings, there are IPs (Independent Projects).

    For example, last year, a kid called David Field graduated from Andover as a senior. The twist in his story, however, is that he went straight from 10th grade to senior year because MIT recruited him for his math and physics when he was still in 10th grade. He deferred MIT for a year so he could be a senior at Andover first. In freshman year, he was in Math 650, Honors Mathematical Seminar, a seminar course that goes in-depth in one area per trimester. He took Math 661 in Lower year, a Vector Calculus course. However, his real strength was in science, another area in which Andover is incredibly strong. This year, there were two Andover students on the US physics team, including David Field. The other is still at Andover and will be an Upper this Fall. You can read David's story at Phillips Academy - David Field '10 Wins Medal at Physics Olympiad
  • InventInvent - Posts: 521 Member
    That's awesome! I am applying to A/E. Thanks for the info TomTheCat. During the admissions interview, can I request to meet with a Math teacher or attend a class in session?
  • seikuuseikuu Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    It sounds like Andover is more relaxed about their placement.

    For the people truly into math at Exeter, math club is the place to learn--taught by Zuming Feng, coach of USA IMO team. The lowerclassmen who have the highest placement take a class taught by him for an entire year (generally teachers switch per term so this is a very special exception).

    The next highest for lowerclassmen placement is into a precalculus course. Exeter is rather strict about placement and generally has students repeating some material when first entering the school to relearn it the Exeter way, as many students are at first unable to cope with the Exonian method of teaching math. For upperclassmen, the highest possible placement is into a multivariable course. Multivariable calculus (course 510 and 520), linear algebra (540) and abstract mathematics (600) are the only fixed post-calculus classes. There are plenty of 590s every year, which is special topics in mathematics--Game Theory, Topology, Combinatoriques, etc--and the occasional 690 every few years, which sounds (on paper) like a more rigorous version of 590.
  • skibum4skibum4 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    Exeter is best known as leading the pack for math, and with Feng as US IMO coach. Here's an article about 2010 USA woman's team, with 2 girls from Exeter, one from Andover, and 1 from Choate. 2010 China Girls Math Olympiad

    Choate has very strong math program, with strong performance of math teams (having won Connecticut math league competitions for past numerous years, and last two years won New England math association league for medium-size schools (Exeter competes in large size division).

    Lots of choices for courses as well, with many students surpassing BC calc and going on to multivariable calc & linear algeabra, then Real Analysis; also numerous opportunities for independent study with Capstone program. Computer programming and robotics also very strong. For both Exeter and Choate, caveat is that it is very difficult even as top math students to make the math teams as they are VERY competitive and draw top international talent.
  • twentyfourteentwentyfourteen Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    @seikuu: "The lowerclassmen who have the highest placement take a class taught by him for an entire year (generally teachers switch per term so this is a very special exception)."
    What course would this be? The MAT31X/33X/41X course?
  • seikuuseikuu Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    @above

    yes, 31x, 33x, 41x--commonly referred to as "t3x"

    it generally enables a student to finish BC calculus in their second year at exeter.
  • InventInvent - Posts: 521 Member
    Any comments from students at Deerfield, Hotchkiss, and Lawrenceville about your math departments/programs? Do you have math clubs and olympiad teams? What do you like best about your math teachers?
  • LLVILLELLVILLE Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    Lawrenceville's math department is good. Standard classes go up to Linear Algebra, Multi variable Calc, and Calc based Stats. If you do all of these, then you may work with the department on an independent study to pursue even higher level math. There are both science and math Olympiad teams.
  • bluegenebluegene Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    don't be fooled by bs impressive courses list. You might not able to take all those due to restriction or certain course does not offer every year. Ask yourself first that you want college math courses beyond Calc at high school or you want to have a teacher/coach guide you to math world, a math club/team that can get you to next level. Some schools use harkness way to teach math but others use traditional way. Some high schoolers prefer teacher "teach" math outline detail steps from blackboard. It is very different to learn math with harkness way.

    Please do visit schools and have a discussion with interviewer/math teacher that will give you an overall picture of math program they offered.
  • LvillegradLvillegrad Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    Back in the '70s (ancient history, I know) when I was at L'ville, they generally didn't have math beyond BC calc and this was common for schools at the time. As a heavy duty math student (Math Olympiad qualifier and math major at Yale), I was looking forward to doing what those few students who managed to finish BC calc before V Form (senior) year were allowed to do: take the honors freshman multivariable calc & linear algebra class up the road at Princeton. Well, that plan was squashed when there were nine other students in my class who wanted to continue on in math post-BC calc. The school quickly put together a "Math Seminar" class for us covering a variety of topics, though not multi-variable calc & linear algebra. It was an amazing class taught by a teacher who is still teaching at L'ville.

    These days, of course, any decent school has a post-BC calc class already on the curriculum. But that's the way math education goes. Back in the '50s when my mother was a math major, it was typical to not get to regular calculus until freshman or sophomore year of college. I suspect this trend will continue into the future.
  • InventInvent - Posts: 521 Member
    Thank you Lvillegrad for the history and evolution of Math at BS. :)
  • neatoburritoneatoburrito Registered User Posts: 3,449 Senior Member
    I thought the math classrooms at L'ville were super cool, physically. They had two walls of whiteboard and two wall of blackboards, floor to ceiling. We joked about writing problems diagonally, or around the perimeter at the very top. Maybe that's why he wasn't admitted........:D
  • GabiiwozGabiiwoz Registered User Posts: 441 Member
    One of my lower friends in my dorm is in a think the 400's (calculus) math
  • FayMomFayMom Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    My impression is not many big name BS go out of their way to support math genius, some of them don't even offer AMC.

    St. Mark's is one other than the Phillips.
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