New Class Added To Juniors’ Math Curriculum

Geometry, Algebra 2-Pre­Calculus, Calculus An­alytical Geometry, AP Calculus BC and soon Multivariable Calculus are all classes juniors Sarah Zhou and Mary Zhong will have taken over the course of their high school career. Zhou and Zhong are two of seven juniors taking AP Cal­culus BC this year. All hope to continue their math studies next year. Unfortunately, until next year, there was not a class offered after AP Calculus BC.

In the past years, seniors who took AP Calculus BC as ju­niors could take Multivariable Calculus on Online School For Girls; however, Zhou and Zhong did not hear a lot of positive comments about the course. “We talked to a lot of seniors who have graduated that took the course online and they had a bad experience with it,” Zhong said.

Senior Anita Wang, who is currently taking the Multivari­able Calculus and Differential Equations class online, said she likes the flexibility of the course.

“I definitely still miss the personal connection that I would have had if I were study­ing in a traditional classroom setting,” Wang said.

Rachel Grabow has taught many juniors in AP Calculus BC at Hockaday and understands that the online program might not be the best fit for Hockaday students.

Grabow has been asked to teach the course next year. “I would keep hearing from stu­dents how much they disliked it and how they would prefer a class that meets regularly on campus and a teacher here on campus that they could talk to face to face,” Grabow said.

Multivariable Calculus, a sec­ond-year college course that works with X, Y and Z planes, is offered at Greenhill, and St. Marks offers it as an independent study. With that in mind, Zhou and Zhong and the other juniors hoping to take the course next year—Rita Lee, Yolanda Wu, Antara Palit, Ingrid Choi and Vicki Su—wondered why couldn’t the course couldn’t be offered at Hockaday, too.

“Sophomore year we ap­proached Ms. Sutton about the idea,” Zhou said. Math Depart­ment Chair Jeri Sutton did not think the class could work out due to financial concerns and teach­ers’ packed schedules. However, with the new integrated math program, more sophomores will find themselves in the same situ­ation as Zhou and Zhong.

“The math department was planning on doing this starting in 2015 because of the integrated math curriculum, [and] there would be more current sopho­mores taking Multivariable Cal­culus,” Zhou said, “but we asked them to advance it one more year so that we could take the course.”

Both Zhong and Zhou are excited to take this course next year and “thank Ms. Grabow and Ms. Chu for all of their support and help in creating this class and [for] letting us continue in learning math,” Zhong said.

– Gretchen O’Brien