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Your Journey Through Exeter Mathematics

It is our intention that you experience our mathematics program at a level and pace commensurate with your background and with your mathematical interests. Typically, you will start your Exeter career in a one- or two-term transition course, the purpose of which is to acclimate you to Exeter’s mathematics curriculum, working with other new students around our Harkness tables. This will afford you the opportunity to: engage collaboratively with your fellow new students in exploring our problem sets; wean you away from using a standard textbook, so that you can discover ideas and techniques without being told what to do; learn to teach, and be taught by, your peers on a daily basis.

Following this immersion, you will be placed into one of our core sequential courses, merging with other students, some new — like you — some with previous PEA experience. These courses cover the material of typical high school courses, as well as numerous extensions, ranging from Math 1 (Algebra 1 and 2) through Math 4 and 5 (Calculus). The focus of these core courses is on themes (such as optimization or modeling), developed through the exploration of specific topics (area of triangles, circular trigonometry, etc.). As in the transition courses, you will continually broaden your repertoire of mathematical ideas and theorems, learning and growing by solving problems and interacting with your classmates. Further, since nearly all of our core courses are offered every term, we have the flexibility to find exactly the right placement for you.

Once you have completed Math 3 (precalculus), you can choose from a wide array of elective courses beyond the core curriculum. The Math 4-level elective classes explore statistics, modeling, discrete mathematics and the history of mathematics. If you complete the calculus curriculum, you may then take higher-level electives, including multivariable calculus, linear algebra and other college-level subject material, varying from year to year. Examples include number theory, abstract algebra and game theory. Any of these elective courses may be taken simultaneously with core courses in calculus, and you may also take more than one elective at a time.