As a freshman I am taking Algebra 2 Honors but I do know few friends who have already completed that during summer (online outside school) to skip ahead to Precalc in 9th grade. However in our school Algebra 2 Honors is the highest math path because in 12th grade we finish with AP Calc BC. Is there really a need to advance math outside of school because many kids doing this advancement end up only taking AP stats in 12th grade since our school offers nothing more than AP Calc BC. I am not sure if there is an edge to advance math outside of what school offers and whether that helps top college apps if am thinking CS? Thanks

If there are no other options offered after Calc BC, like Multivariable or dual enrollment classes, then taking classes outside of your school to get to Calc BC faster is a waste of time. I took Precalc over the summer but only because I wanted to take Multivariable my senior year. You are already ahead of most kids, so just try your best in the classes that are set for you.

If you will complete calculus BC in high school, there are diminishing returns to accelerating math even more. Basically, beyond calculus BC, you need to have an accessible local college to take more advanced math courses at. Finishing calculus BC in 11th grade and having only statistics to take is not really worth the effort to accelerate more.

Also, if you are in algebra 2 in 9th grade, wouldn’t you be taking calculus BC in 11th grade? Or is your high school one that forces the top students in math (2+ grade levels ahead) to take a slow paced two year calculus sequence, even though those students should be capable of full speed calculus BC in one year after completing precalculus?

There is no need to accelerate further in your math studies.

Instead, you need to make sure that you get a solid foundation in each level of math that you take. In nearly all cases the math that you take next year will depend a lot on the math that you take this year and that you took last year. You want to know it very well. You need to understand the concepts well and do not just memorize formulae. Algebra 2 is specifically something that you will want to know very well in your future studies.

I attended a high school that did not offer calculus at all. I took calculus as a freshman in university. This did not stop me from graduating as a math major from a highly ranked US university.

Thanks yes not sure but right now the path is Algebra 2 honors in 9th grade, Precalc Honors 10th, AP Calc AB 11th and AP Calc BC 12. Not sure if we can skip levels there need to ask counselor.

There are students who I know that have taken Linear Algebra and Multivariable calc during high school. There aren’t that many high schools that offer math at this high of a level, but there are a few (private schools and the STEM charter schools come to mind).

Just keep challenging yourself. Learning enough Math now will make it easier once you get to college.

There are also students like my D’s roommate who are at a T10 engineering school having taken only Algebra 2 in high school, coming from a small, rural school. She had to take a prep class and then freshman engineering Calc one semester later, but caught up during the summer.

Colleges won’t penalize you for taking the most advanced math path your school offers. And Calc BC as a Senior is plenty.

Math is overrated in computers. Most CS graduates get corporate IT jobs and spend their entire careers never looking at a math problem. As long as you’re at a college level when you graduate high school, you’re fine. The advisor can adapt a degree plan to graduate in 4 years.

^For those who are taking IT jobs, they don’t really need a four-year CS degree to begin with.

@shalt5 I also took A2, Precalc/trig, Calc AB, Calc BC during high school (as well as AP Stats senior year in addition to BC). Unless your local community college offers multivariable calc or discrete math, I would just do the 4 year sequence. It builds a really strong foundation in Calc which is needed for upper level courses in college. It just depends on where you attend college and if they accept AP credit or your local CC transfer credits.

“Math is overrated in computers.”

I think that this depends upon what sort of computer science job you get.

I have a somewhat slanted view on this since I got degrees in math with some computer courses on the side. I have used multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and multiple variations on probability and statistics and stochastic process while working in a computer science job. However, I studied all of these at university, not in high school.

There are a lot of different types of computer science jobs. I agree that some jobs do not require much math at all. Some others do use math.

Thinking logically is probably needed in any CS job.