The Mathematics Department features small classes where discussion, written problem-solving, and individual and collaborative work are all emphasized as students master new concepts.
Our faculty is committed to offering courses at a variety of levels, ensuring every student is appropriately engaged, stimulated, and, above all, genuinely challenged.
Our courses—featuring a diverse range of topics that provide a path to Honors level, advanced coursework as well as exposure to non-traditional subject matter—follow a spiral curriculum, where students revisit topics again and again with increasing sophistication. Students also regularly use technology to gain deeper insights into the mathematical relationships they’re studying.
The Freshman Program
What better way to cement math skills and see how they help explain the world around us than by integrating mathematics with physics? Thacher’s science and math teachers have coordinated the freshman program so that the language, skills and applications across both disciplines are coordinated throughout the year. The entire freshman class engages in a lab all at once several times a year. Yes, a giant double-period lab in the gym with everyone: fun, learning, and practical applications at the same time. The experience creates truly memorable learning.
Sophomore Through Senior Years
We believe that it’s critical to teach strong foundational concepts while continuously incorporating cutting-edge offerings, including programming, computer science, and robotics, into our curriculum. Our Math Department features Honors Calculus and statistics but also offers courses on topics such as advanced Java data structures and algorithms and number theory of cryptography. As students work their way through Thacher’s program, our math faculty members are regularly available outside of class for individual instruction and reinforcement of learning.
Programming and Robotics
Computer programming and robotics classes and club activities complement each other well, challenging students to take the programming languages they’ve learned—including Java, Python, Ajax, PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and others—and explore their practical uses as they code and control NAO humanoid and LEGO Mindstorms robots or develop their own web applications.
A one-trimester introductory programming course allows any student to gain a foundation in computer programming. AP Computer Science and advanced courses in robotics, data structures, and programming focus on complex, interdisciplinary concepts and often emphasize independent projects that students develop themselves—from a custom-built scheduler that reconciles schedule conflicts among students to a web-based alternative grading system for the School—that often have specific, practical uses in our own community. Above all, students integrate engineering, art, design, and mathematics, transforming their relationship to each field in the process.