Mathematics

Overview

Math at Suffield Academy stresses the importance of problem solving, logic, communication, and understanding. Students are encouraged to ask questions, assist fellow students, and work cooperatively to develop reasoning and problem-solving skills. Small classes create a comfortable atmosphere for true understanding. We focus on how technology has influenced the use of mathematics and how to apply mathematical skills to real-life situations. Students are challenged at every level to develop reasoning skills and hypothesize about possible solutions to both simple and complex problems. We teach students to communicate effectively using mathematics—in speech, the written word, and technological applications.
 
Suffield’s mathematics curriculum teaches students to:
Demonstrate mastery of algebraic, geometric, and reasoning skills
Apply mathematical skills to real situations and solve problems
Use technology as a tool to solve problems
Make connections between mathematics and other disciplines
Prepare for college admission tests


Course Descriptions

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • + Algebra I

    Term: Full year
    The purpose of Algebra I is to familiarize students with variable expressions. The course includes study of the number line, equation-solving, operations on polynomials, factoring polynomials, algebraic fractions, linear equations and systems, linear and quadratic functions, inequalities, and irrational numbers. Problem-solving is emphasized throughout this course.
  • + Geometry

    Term: Full year
    This course examines Euclidean geometry in both two and three dimensions. It allows students to learn the historical overview of the material and how it can be used as a tool for responding to many human questions and practical problems, and it fosters the ability of students to reason mathematically. Students begin by learning fundamental elements as a background for the development of two-column and paragraph proofs. Algebra concepts are reviewed through weekly problem sets and are then used to solve more complex geometry problems. Additionally, students use Geometer’s SketchPad software as a tool to explore many of the theorems used throughout the course. Prerequisite: Algebra I.
  • + Geometry Honors

    Term: Full year
    Geometry Honors is designed for entering 9th- or 10th-grade students with strong math ability and interest. Students mustalready have taken Algebra I. The fall term is devoted to a fast-paced but thorough treatment of Algebra I topics. During the winter and spring terms, students focus on geometry, with more advanced algebra topics introduced through weekly problem sets. Prerequisite: Permission of the academic dean.
  • + Geometry Foundations

    Term: Full year
    This course examines Euclidian geometry in two and three dimensions, as well as fundamentals of theoretical and applied algebra. The fall term is dedicated to an in-depth treatment of core math skills that will be useful throughout the balance of the year as well as subsequent courses. These include ratios and proportional reasoning, graphing and interpreting graphs, working with data, estimation, taking an organized approach to complex problems, and communication in a mathematical context. The balance of the year will be dedicated to geometry, with emphasis on right triangles, trigonometry, polygons, surface area, and volume. Students will learn to apply theorems, postulates, and definitions in developing and justifying geometric relationships.
  • + Algebra II

    Term: Full year
    In addition to reviewing the major concepts of Algebra I, this course also includes the study of complex numbers, conic sections, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and coordinate geometry. Prerequisite: Algebra I and Geometry.
  • + Algebra II Honors

    Term: Full year
    This class is intended for gifted and dedicated students who have successfully completed Algebra I and Geometry. The class moves swiftly and demands a high level of independence from the students. In addition to covering all the topics in Algebra II, the honors class will include matrices, vectors, sequences, and series.
  • + Algebra II B

    Term: Full year
    The goal of this course is to help students master the foundation topics of the Algebra II curriculum at the pace and level of difficulty appropriate for students who are challenged by traditional Algebra II. Prerequisite: Algebra I and Geometry.
  • + Trigonometry & Functions

    Term: Full year
    This class is an intermediate course in mathematics for the student who has completed Algebra II and Geometry and wishes to strengthen their math background. The course offers a review of algebraic and geometric concepts, a preview of precalculus topics, and a focus on using the TI-84 graphing calculator. Special attention is given to the basic functions: linear, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic. Trigonometry of the right triangle is reviewed, and trigonometry of the circle is introduced. Applications and word problems are emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisites: Algebra II and Geometry.
  • + Pre-Calculus

    Term: Full year
    This course is designed for juniors and seniors who have completed Algebra II. A comprehensive treatment of polynomial, trigonometric, and exponential functions, with an intuitive approach to the concept of limit and continuity, prepares the student for Calculus and the Math Level II SAT II Exam. Prerequisite: Algebra II and Geometry.
  • + Pre-Calculus Honors

    Term: Full year
    This is an accelerated course for students who have completed Algebra II. Pre-calculus topics are covered at a more rigorous level. Students who successfully complete this course are encouraged to take AP Calculus I: AB. Prerequisite: Algebra II, Geometry, and permission of the department chair.
  • + Probability & Statistics

    Term: Full year
    This course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts involved in collecting, displaying, summarizing, and drawing inferences from data. Students examine statistical concepts, principles, and techniques through the analysis of genuine data. The course focuses on applications and uses the TI-83 calculator to do many computations. Topics explored include data analysis, design of surveys and experiments, probability, sampling distributions, estimation, and significance testing.
  • + AP Statistics

    Term: Full year
    This course is for students who wish to prepare for the AP Statistics Exam. Topics include descriptions of data sets, design of surveys and experiments, probability, and statistical inference. Daily use of the TI-83 graphing calculator is expected. The course materials draw heavily on AP Exams from previous years. This course requires strong reading and writing skills, in addition to a solid math background and familiarity with the graphing calculator. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus, a strong performance in English, and permission of the department chair.
  • + Calculus

    Term: Full year
    This course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of calculus. It begins with a thorough review of trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions. The winter and spring terms cover the basic ideas of differential and integral calculus, including maxima and minima, related rates, integration techniques, area, and volume. This course is intended for students who are interested in studying calculus but who are not preparing for the AP Calculus Exam. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus.
  • + Multivariable Calculus Honors

    Term: Full year
    This advanced course continues the study of calculus from AP Calculus II: BC and Beyond. Topics include, but are not limited to: three-dimensional space, vectors in three dimensions, vector-valued functions, partial derivatives, and multiple integrals. Prerequisite: AP Calculus II: BC and Beyond.
  • + AP Calculus I: AB

    Term: Full year
    The goal of this course is to establish a strong foundation for the study of calculus. A careful investigation is made of real numbers and of the real-value algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions of a single variable. The concept of the limit of a function is introduced and applied to cases of simple differentiation. Concepts of maxima and minima are thoroughly applied to geometric and physical problems. The study of integration, areas under curves, volumes of solids, and L’Hopital’s Rule complete the syllabus. The course serves as a preparation for the AB Advanced Placement Exam. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors and permission of the department chair.
  • + AP Calculus II: BC & Beyond

    Term: Full year
    Intended for exceptional students who have completed AP Calculus I: AB, this course prepares those who may wish to pursue the study of mathematics in college. In the fall, students will be introduced to additional methods and applications of integration and functions defined in parametric and polar form. Winter term topics include Simpson’s Rule, improper integrals, differential equations, and sequences and series. Applications may include mixing problems, restricted population growth, and Laplace transforms. In the spring, students will receive an introduction to three-dimensional space and vectors. Additionally, they prepare for the BC Advanced Placement Exam. Prerequisite: AP Calculus I: AB (with a score of 3 or better on the AP Exam) and permission of the department chair.
  • + Linear Algebra Honors

    Term: Full year
    Intended for highly motivated students who enjoy the study of mathematics and have completed at least one year of calculus, this course prepares those who may wish to study math or science in college. (Students who are deciding between this class and AP Calculus BC are strongly encouraged to take the latter option.) The course will examine Linear Algebra from four perspectives: theoretical (including proofs), calculational (a TI-84 calculator is required), geometric, and the applications of Linear Algebra to various disciplines. Topics will include matrices, vectors, Gauss-Jordan elimination, determinants, vector spaces, span, rank, kernel, inner product spaces, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and the construction of different bases.

Mathematics Department

List of 11 members.

  • Allison Henle 

    Waskiewicz Chair in Mathematics
    Yale University - B.A.
    Dartmouth College - Ph.D. *
    Read Bio
  • Brian Carroll 

    Mathematics Department
    Pennsylvania State University - B.A.
    University of Texas - M.B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Brittney D'Oleo ’14 14

    Mathematics Department
    University of Richmond - B.A.
  • Jonathan Edwards 

    Mathematics Department
    Trinity College - B.A.
    Trinity College - M.A.
    Read Bio
  • Thomas Foote 

    Mathematics Department
    Amherst College - B.A.
    Wesleyan University - M.A.
    Read Bio
  • David Godin 

    Mathematics Department
    Springfield College - B.S.
    Wesleyan University - M.A.L.S.
    Read Bio
  • Lori Sych 

    Mathematics
    Hartwick College - B.S.
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - M.S.
    University of St. Joseph - M.A.
    Read Bio
  • Yelena Vasilenko 

    Mathematics Department
    Minsk State University - M.A.
    Leningrad State University - M.B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Kevin Van Dam 

    Mathematics Department
    University of Massachusetts - B.A.
  • Recardo Warren 

    Mathematics Department
    Mount Vernon Nazarene University - B.A.
    Ohio Dominican University - MBA
    Read Bio
  • Nathan Zwirko 

    Assistant Dean of Students
    St. Lawrence University - B.S.
    Read Bio
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411