Mathematics is the language of reason. Though often referred to as a single discipline, mathematics comprises many distinct fields, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, number theory, probability, and statistics.
Each field has developed its own ways of thinking, its own methods for solving problems and establishing truth. Closer examination reveals the underlying logic that binds them all together. In addition to its inherent structure and beauty, mathematics helps us model the world around us. Whether we’re monitoring climate change, managing money, designing new buildings and bridges, buying insurance, testing the effectiveness of a new drug, or solving crime, math provides the tools we need to make decisions in the face of complexity, risk, and uncertainty.

Every Lawrenceville graduate should be able to interpret quantitative information, develop and apply mathematical models, formulate clear and convincing arguments, and use appropriate technology to solve problems and describe relationships. In each course, we seek to develop students’ mathematical reasoning and their ability to use the language of mathematics to communicate their ideas and observations. We encourage students to ask good questions, use multiple approaches, explore ideas, and notice connections. Our Harkness-style classrooms promote intellectual engagement: independent thinking and exploration, as well as effective collaboration. The Mathematics Department sees learning mathematics as a ‘gateway to reason’ and strives to help our students gain a greater appreciation for and command of the discipline, both for its value as a way of thinking and for its usefulness in other disciplines.

Explore Our Courses

Calculator Policy: A “TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator” is required for all mathematics courses.
  • MA201 - Math 1

    Math 1 is a full year course covering skills and concepts necessary for success in high-school mathematics. Emphasis is placed on mathematical principles to support necessary symbol manipulation. Although the course assumes no previous experience with high-school algebra, it is still an excellent choice for students who have already taken a first year algebra course at their previous school, but who feel they need to strengthen their grasp of fundamental skills and ideas. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: II
  • MA204 - Math 2

    Math 2 teaches students to make effective and convincing mathematical arguments. While our emphasis will be on the deductive reasoning of geometry, we will also explore the role of inductive reasoning in developing conjectures about the characteristics of geometric figures. Considerable attention will be given to applying geometric relationships to real-life situations. In addition, important skills from Algebra I are reviewed, emphasizing the reasoning. This course also initiates an exploration of geometric probability. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: II or III Prereqs: MA201
  • MA221 - Math 2M

    This yearlong course is designed to foster strong argument skills, within the context of geometric proof. The course emphasizes both argument development and argument critique, and relies heavily on Harkness style participation by the students. Students in this course are expected to engage fully in each day’s discussion, actively consider the ideas presented by their peers, and offer feedback on the strength of the arguments. 
    Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: II or III Prereqs: MA201 
  • MA301 - Math 3

    Math 3 is a yearlong course that introduces the language, notation, and methodology of mathematics necessary for the creation of algebraic models. We pay particular attention to the reasoning on which algebraic methods are based. Topics include working with algebraic expressions and equations; linear, quadratic, exponential, and power functions; logarithms; and basic triangle trigonometry. We will also explore the fundamentals of probability and statistics.
    Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: II or III or IV Prereqs: MA201 and (MA204 or MA221) 
  • MA404 - Math 4

    This course is designed to strengthen students’ algebraic fluency as they examine the important characteristics of linear, quadratic, exponential, polynomial, rational, and trigonometric functions. The connection between arithmetic and geometric sequences and linear and exponential functions will be explored. Students will use these families of functions to solve a  variety of application problems. Strategic use of technology will be encouraged throughout the course. 
    Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: MA301 
  • MA407 - Precalculus

    Precalculus involves the study of the elementary functions (linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, power, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric), their multiple representations (words, formulas, graphs, and numerical tables), their salient characteristics, and ways of using them to model real-world phenomena. 
    Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: All Prereqs: MA301 or MA404 
  • MA411 - Statistics

    How do scientists establish truth? They produce data through observation and experiments. Individual measurements vary, even in seemingly identical conditions. Descriptive statistics provides graphical and numerical tools for modeling variation in data. In well-designed studies, inferential statistics allows researchers to draw conclusions about the world at large from the data at hand. Probability answers the critical question "what are the chances?" In this course, students will master the art and science of making decisions with data. 
    Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA404 or MA407 or (MA301 and department approval) 
  • MA421 - Precalculus BC

    This course includes all of the topics covered in Precalculus, but examines them in greater depth and at an accelerated pace. During the winter and spring terms, students are exposed to additional content that prepares them to take Honors Calculus BC the following year, including a comprehensive introduction to limits, continuity, and derivatives. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: All Prereqs: MA301
  • MA431 - Finite Math with Applications

    **This course will not run in the 2017-2018 school year**
    Do you know why a major delivery company maps out routes so that their trucks only make right hand turns? Or how statistics can be used to make decisions regarding investments? Are you interested in learning about how companies allocate resources to maximize profit? This course is intended to help you better understand how people benefit from various applications of mathematics in their everyday lives. You will investigate new applications of topics that you have studied previously: systems of linear equations, exponential and quadratic functions, probability, and statistics. In addition, this course will expose you to finance topics ranging from personal finance to financial markets and the mathematics of finance. Whether you are trying to understand the significance of a poll regarding an election or trying to figure out how to pay off a debt, this course will give you a broader sense of mathematics and its importance to daily life experiences. Technology will play an important role in this course. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA404 or MA407
  • MA462 - Web Design, Visualization, and Modeling

    How do we intentionally use the design process and leverage methods for problem solving to enable and support innovation? This class is a collaboration between design and mathematics, and, as such, travels between the worlds of theory and practice. You will spend time as an active designer of web products and experiences, and as a participant in the world of digital innovation. Your ongoing project will be to create a needs-based website for a Lawrenceville community of your choice (House, athletic team, play/performance, community service project, etc). You’ll be conducting field research on campus, brainstorming, building a prototype, user testing, and presenting your ideas. There are no prerequisites for this course and it is assumed that students have no prior programming skills or IT experience. The course is designed for beginners to experience web design scripting languages (HTML CSS) that expand a designer's toolbox for exploring and communicating ideas. Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA301
  • MA465 - Intro to iOS Programming

    **This course will not run in the 2017-2018 school year**
    This course will provide the necessary tools for students to write simple programs for the iPhone and iPad devices. It will introduce students to Xcode, the Apple development environment required to write, compile and run the code, and test on the iOS Simulator. The course will be an introduction to object-oriented programming, focusing on the structure of an iOS application, graphical interface and mathematical libraries. Note: Apple Macintosh computers are used. Grants: NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA301
  • MA470 - Intro to Computer Programming

    Coding is the literacy for the 21st Century and applicable to almost any field of study or work. In this course, students will learn the basics of crafting a computer programming. This course is designed to appeal to a diverse audience of students with little or no programming experience. Topics include programming language syntax, data types, program organization, algorithm design, and control structures. A primary goal is to understand the role that computation can play in solving problems in any discipline. The class will use Python, one of the most popular programming languages for the last 15 years. Students should have basic computer fluency, such as using files and folders. Students wishing to pursue this topic in more depth should consider taking the Honors Computer Science Principles course in the Spring Term. Grants NCAA: Terms: T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA301
  • MA504 - Honors Calculus AB

    The course is a thorough examination of change-instantaneous rates of change (differential calculus) and the ongoing accumulation of change (integral calculus). Beginning from discussion of the meaning and interpretation of these concepts, methods for determining the derivatives and integrals of elementary functions are introduced, and students' skill with those methods is developed in various contexts. Applications of the derivative and integral are emphasized from symbolic, graphical, numerical, and descriptive perspectives. This course prepares students for the AP® exam in May, and all students are required to take the exam.
     Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: All Prereqs: MA407 or MA421
  • MA511 - Honors Statistics

    Statistics is the art and science of drawing conclusions from data. In Honors Statistics, students will learn to: apply the principles and methods of data production, data analysis, probability models, and inference appropriately in a variety of settings; design and carry out a statistical study to answer a research question of interest; analyze and critique published statistical information; and communicate statistical reasoning effectively, both orally and in writing. This course prepares students for the AP® exam in May, and all students are required to take the exam.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA301
  • MA521 - Honors Calculus BC

    The course will cover all the topics described in MA504 Honors Calculus AB, with only a quick review of the ideas of limits, continuity, and derivatives that were part of Precalculus BC. Many additional topics will be covered including more sophisticated methods of integration, polar coordinates, and extensive work with infinite series and vector-valued functions. This course prepares students for the AP® exam in May, and all students are required to take the exam.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: All Prereqs: MA407 or MA421
  • MA527 - Honors Calculus-Based Prob & Stats

    Statistics is the art and science of drawing conclusions from data. Probability is the study of chance behavior, while Calculus provides the methodological basis in both disciplines. This course blends probability theory and mathematical statistics with real-world applications. Students will: apply the principles of data analysis, probability models, and inference in a variety of settings; use calculus and other mathematical techniques to develop key results; and communicate statistical and probabilistic reasoning both orally and in writing. Students who wish to take the AP® exam in May will need to do some independent preparation outside of class.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: IN530 or MA 504 or MA 507 or MA 521
  • MA531 - Honors Math Seminar: Regression and Machine Learning

    Regression is a statistical technique that helps explain the pattern of a response variable given one or more predictor variables. After a brief background on the basics of simple linear, multivariate, and logistic regression, this course will focus on two aspects of machine learning: dimension reduction and classification. Dimension reduction works to reduce the number of variables in a data set using model-based or linear methods such as principal components analysis, factor analysis, and multi-dimensional scaling. These techniques can be useful in situations when we wish to reduce the clutter in a data set that contains a large number of variables, and many of these variables share similar characteristics. Classification is a form of supervised learning that, for each observation, determines a categorical value for a variable given other quantitative and/or categorical variables. Typically, part of the data set will be broken off to "train" a model, and the remainder of the data will be used to "test" how effectively the model classifies observations. We will use the open-source statistical programming language R to assist with our analyses. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T3; Forms: III or IV or V Prereqs: IN530 or MA504 or MA507 or MA521 and (MA511 or MA527 or MA555 complete or concurrent)
  • MA536 - Honors Math Seminar: Multivariable Calculus

    This course is an investigation of how the notions of differentiation and integration studied in single-variable calculus extend to functions of several variables. It is a gentle qualitative introduction to the subject and is not meant to replace the rigorous college version. Topics studied include vectors and vector fields, differentiation, optimization, and the definite integral. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T2; Forms: III or IV or V Prereqs: Prereqs: IN530 or MA 504 or MA 507 or MA 521 AND (MA511 OR MA527 OR MA555 complete or concurrent)
  • MA537 - Honors Math Seminar: Differential Equations

    This course will cover techniques used to solve some of the most interesting problems in mathematics, physics, economics, and computer science. Appreciation of the power of some of its analytical, numerical, and graphical methods will certainly be part of the emphasis of the course. Computer software capable of solving and exploring differential equations will be used to enhance understanding and help in the solution of problems. The course will revolve around applications to real life situations. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: III or IV or V Prereqs: IN 530 or MA504 or MA507 or MA521 and (MA511 or MA527 or MA555 complete or concurrent)
  • MA551 - Statistical Reasoning In Sports

    Did Lebron James choke in the playoffs? Should you go for it on fourth down? Is it more important to hit a tee shot long or to hit it straight? What effect did steroid testing have on baseball statistics? These questions and others will be addressed through the principles of statistical reasoning. The course will present all of the common types of graphs and summary statistics as well as the design of experiments and the calculation of probabilities. It will also cover the logic of inference and how to account for variability when making decisions. Grants: Honors; Terms: T2; Forms: V; Prereqs: MA301 and (MA404 or MA407 or MA421 or MA504 or MA507 or MA521 or IN530 concurrent)
  • MA555 - Honors Computer Programming

    This course is designed to exploit natural connections between mathematics and programming. Bringing mathematics to programming and programming to mathematics, we attempt to realize synergies between the two disciplines. The Mathematica platform allows us to build visual models of complex problems, and, in the process, gain some understanding of the underlying mathematics, like vectors and vector transformations. Pedagogically, as much as possible, class time is hands-on, and, as the course progresses, exercises become more independent, creative, and complex.  Note that this is designed as a yearlong course, but students may opt to sign up for MA555 and MA556 in the fall and winter terms, and for MA570 in the spring term. Students who wish to take the AP® exam in May will need to do some independent preparation outside of class.
    Grants: Honors; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA301
  • MA570 - Honors Computer Science Principles

    Computer science is the engine that powers the technology, productivity, and innovation that drive today’s world: the web, digital commerce, social media, and even video games. This course covers the foundational concepts of computer science, following the topics in the new AP® Computer Science Principles exam. The topics challenge students to explore how computing and technology can impact the world, with a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications. The course promotes deep learning of computational content, develops algorithmic thinking skills, and engages students in the creative aspects of coding and computer science. Students must be fluent in any computer programming language (see MA470), and will produce a portfolio of computational artifacts used to solve problems of their own choosing. This course prepares students for the AP® exam in May, and all students are required to take the exam.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T3 Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA 301 and (MA470 or instructor approval)
  • MA599 - Ind. Study: Math

    Students with special interests they wish to explore outside the regular program of courses may apply for an independent study. This may involve research or creative work; normally it will culminate in a paper, exhibit, or performance of some kind. Work in such projects is treated exactly like work in regular courses: a final grade is given; students must meet regularly (at least once a week) with their advisor; they must have tangible progress to report at each meeting. Grants: Honors; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: Department Approval
  • IN530 - Honors Calculus with Physics

    Through an inquiry-based approach, this course explores key principles of physics and the calculus methods related to them. The study of each physics topic requires students to create hypotheses, develop computer models, design experiments, and craft components. Topics of calculus are introduced in support of this process, allowing students to model their understanding mathematically. Among the calculus topics included are derivatives and integrals and applications including velocity and acceleration, linearization, extreme values, accumulation, area, and volumes. Some independent study is required of students preparing for the AP® Calculus AB exam.
    Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 1IN/3MA Cr.; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: MA 407 or MA421 and SC321 co-requirement with IN531 **NOTE: Only one IN credit will be granted for the pair.

Our Faculty

Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.