Date of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Brendan Foreman


In the winter of 2015, I will be piloting a course on mathematical modeling at Hawken School, an independent high school in Gates Mills, OH. As I develop all elements of this course, such as lesson plans, assessments, and rubrics, I will be mindful of factors such as the newly adopted Common Core mathematics standards, the variety of student backgrounds in such a course, and how various mathematical societies and organizations such as SIAM, MAA, and COMAP can help in implementing it. However, there is one basic question driving my interest in and design of this course: “when am I ever going to need this?” This quote uttered by many high school math students sounds like nails on a chalkboard to teachers who cannot imagine how anyone can take for granted the great beauty in math. While every math student may not appreciate it as an art in its own right, I do believe that every student should be able to appreciate math for its infinite applications. Because of this, I, like many other math teachers, always try to do my best to incorporate many applications of math to a variety of fields in my courses. In doing so, I hope to impress upon them what is probably the most important aspect of mathematics education: the development of critical thinking. However, due to constraints, such as time, adhering to state content standards, etc., such application problems often get pushed to the side in the average math course. This is why the thoughtful addition of a semester long course in mathematical modeling would be an excellent addition to the high school curriculum.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Mathematics Commons