A Balanced and Unified Curriculum
The first three courses in the Core-Plus Mathematics series provide
a significant core of broadly useful mathematics for all students. They
were developed to prepare students for success in college, in careers,
and in daily life in contemporary society. Course 4 formalizes and
extends the core program, with a focus on the mathematics needed to be
successful in college mathematics and statistics courses.
The Algebra and Functions strand develops student
ability to recognize, represent, and solve problems
involving relations among quantitative variables.
Central to the development is the use of functions as
mathematical models. The key algebraic models in the
curriculum are linear, exponential, power, polynomial,
logarithmic, rational, and trigonometric functions.
Modeling with systems of equations, both linear and
nonlinear, is developed. Attention is also given to
symbolic reasoning and manipulation.
The primary goal of the Geometry and Trigonometry strand is to
develop visual thinking and ability
to construct, reason with, interpret, and apply
mathematical models of patterns in visual and physical
contexts. The focus is on describing patterns in
shape, size, and location; representing patterns with
drawings, coordinates, or vectors; predicting changes
and invariants in shapes under transformations; and
organizing geometric facts and relationships through
The primary role of the Statistics and Probability strand is to
develop student ability to analyze data
intelligently, to recognize and measure variation, and
to understand the patterns that underlie probabilistic
situations. The ultimate goal is for students to
understand how inferences can be made about a
population by looking at a sample from that population.
Graphical methods of data analysis, simulations,
sampling, and experience with the collection and
interpretation of real data are featured.
The Discrete Mathematics strand develops student
ability to solve problems using recursion, matrices,
vertex-edge graphs, and systematic counting
methods (combinatorics). Key themes are discrete
mathematical modeling, optimization, and algorithmic
(A chart indicating the Sequence of Units in Courses
1–4 is available.)
Course 4 continues the preparation of students for college mathematics.
In Course 4, formal and symbolic reasoning strategies, the hallmarks
of advanced mathematics, are developed as complements to more intuitive
arguments and numerical and graphical approaches to problems developed
in Courses 1-3. The mathematical content and 11 units in Course 4
allows considerable flexibility in tailoring a course to best prepare
students for undergraduate programs. A sequence of units in Course 4
is recommended for students intending to pursue programs in the mathematical,
physical, and biological sciences, or engineering and a somewhat different
sequence of units is recommended for students intending to pursue programs
in the social, management, humanities, or some of the health sciences.
For students wishing to complete advanced placement courses such as
AP Calculus and AP Statistics or complete International Baccalaureate
Programs, it is recommended that they begin Course 1 as 8th graders.
By beginning Course 1 in 8th grade, students can elect to enroll
in AP Statistics as juniors and AP Calculus as seniors. Other options
for acceleration are outlined in Preparing