Mathematics

US MATH CALCULATOR/TECHNOLOGY USAGE POLICY

Understanding that a comprehensive mathematics curriculum should help students learn to use calculators, computers, and other tools of technology as a part of learning mathematics, the US Mathematics Department promotes the use of technology as an integral part of our mathematics program. This position is supported by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) that states: “…instructional programs should use technology to help all students understand mathematics and should prepare them to use mathematics in an increasingly technological world.” “…Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics, it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning.” The NCTM makes it clear that such tools do not replace the need to learn basic math skills, to compute mentally, or to do reasonable paper and pencil computation. In fact, the NCTM Standards suggest that when used appropriately, calculators and computers enable students to explore new areas of mathematics and to tackle challenging mathematical problems that would not be possible without the help of such tools. In line with this philosophy, we offer the following policy on the use of technology.

We require the appropriate use of technology in the classroom. Games are not to be played during class. Students need to consider when use of mental mathematics, paper & pencil, or a calculator is appropriate. Calculator dependency, as evidenced by the use of a calculator for multiplying single or double digit numbers, often should be avoided. (Keep in mind that over one-half of the AP Calculus exam does not allow calculator use. Also note that a portion of the SAT test does not allow calculator use as well.)

We require that students purchase their own calculator. Since demonstrations will be done using the TI-84 Plus CE calculator, this is the model we require students to have. The TI-84 Plus CE model is acceptable for all TAS math classes. Students should not purchase other models. Some other models have a Computer Algebra System (CAS) and IB does not allow CAS calculators to be used. Please do not purchase other TI models (or other brands), as they are not appropriate for our classes and may not have similar capabilities as the models we use. The SAT, ACT, AP, and IB will allow use of the TI-84 Plus CE model on its exams. Calculators are available in the Tiger Shop and may also be purchased through online retail sites.

We recognize that calculators left unattended may be targets for theft. To help combat theft, the US Mathematics Department has purchased an engraver that students may use at any time that classes are not in session for engraving their name on their calculator. We strongly encourage students to engrave their calculators! Engraving can be done in the math office before school, during breaks, and after school.

Students will be required to show all work in their solutions and may have to explain how they arrived at their solution as a demonstration of their understanding. This applies to homework, quizzes, and tests, whether a calculator is used or not. The calculator should not replace the understanding of fundamental concepts of mathematics. Therefore, a reasonable emphasis will be placed on teaching with mental computation and paper & pencil calculation.

Course Offerings 2020-2021

Department Members

  • Ann Ho
  • Daniel Uhlman (Department Chair)
  • David Matlock
  • Edward Hillmann
  • Hway Anichowski
  • Jen-Ching, Kao
  • Kazuyo Noda
  • Leo Lopez
  • Nathan Paxton
  • Nick Steckler
  • Nyoli Connor
  • Ying-Chie Chen
  • Peter Hua
  • Dileep Mathews

Department Chair

US Math Paths