 Alabama School of Fine Arts
 ASFA MathScience Department

MathScience at Alabama School of Fine Arts

The building blocks of the world Through rigorous, universitylevel coursework in mathematics, the physical sciences, life sciences, computer science, and engineering, ASFA’s math and science program develops students’ analytical and creative problem solving skills. Nurturing student talent to create leaders and innovators is a cornerstone of the math and science program.
Infused with inquiry and exploration Alongside their artsfocused peers, math and science students learn to be creative and curious as they develop their talents in problem solving and scientific inquiry. Rather than creating brand new artworks as their peers might, math and science students leverage these skills to innovate and to see existing structures in new lights and from different angles. Coursework encourages students to incorporate diverse ways of thinking and flourish as lifelong learners.
Student achievement Competitions are to ASFA’s math and science students as performance is to our arts colleagues. Our teams consistently place highly in both local and national STEM competitions.
Imaginative investigations Research is the culmination of ASFA’s advanced math and science curriculum. Students learn from experience, beginning by forming a hypothesis and completing a thorough experiment design, then producing comprehensive, analytical reports of their findings. Students develop a research question in mathematics, science, or computer science during their junior year, and explore that question via an independent research project over the course of their senior year. Many have the opportunity to conduct independent research and experimentation at nearby University labs and organizations, receiving guidance and mentorship from expert practitioners. All math and science students enter their research projects in local and national Science & Engineering Fairs, and many qualify for spots in the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair.

Learn from top talent!
Learn more about MathScience at ASFA

MathScience Curriculum
MathScience Curriculum
I. Major classes are doubleperiod in length for the full year and are taught at an honors level.
 8^{th} grade: Honors Algebra I & Honors Physical Science
 9^{th} grade: Honors Geometry & Honors Biology
 10^{th} grade: Honors Algebra II, Honors Trigonometry, AP Chemistry or AP Biology
 11^{th} grade: AP Calculus BC & AP Chemistry or AP Biology or AP Physics C – Mechanics or AP Physics C – Electricity & Magnetism
 12^{th} grade: Calculus III/Differential Equations/Linear Algebra & AP Chemistry or AP Biology or AP Physics C – Mechanics or AP Physics C – Electricity & Magnetism
II. Requirements for Graduation
 Introduction to Computational Thinking (0.5 credit)
 AP Computer Science Principles (1 credit)
 Research Fundamentals (0.5 credit)
 Research and Inquiry (1 credit)
 Senior Research Project: yearlong (1 credit) OR AP Seminar (1 credit)
 Fine Arts Electives (1.5 credit)
 12^{th} grade:
 Compete in the Central Alabama Science & Engineering Fair
 Participation in the annual Math & Science Senior Research Symposium
III. Electives
AP Computer Science A, AP Seminar, AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology, Advanced Topics in Mathematics, Art of Problems Solving, Marine Biology, Organic Chemistry, Math Team, Quantitative Finance, Human Anatomy & Physiology, MakeIt with Computing
IV. CoCurricular Activities
Math Teams, Mu Alpha Theta National Convention, American Mathematics Competition
 Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, Physics Bowl
 High School Programing Contest, North American Computational Linguistic Olympiad, Alabama Robotics
V. Advance Core Courses
 AP United States History, AP United States Government, AP Macroeconomics
 AP Latin, AP Spanish, AP French

MathScience Course Catalog
Required Sequence in Mathematics:
Honors Algebra I (Grade 8) is a rigorous study of the fundamental structure of the real number system. Throughout, the course gives attention to algebraic properties and operations. Students learn to use mathematics effectively through a variety of problems, in questioning, and openended problemsolving. Students see how mathematical ideas fit into a larger context and use experiments that include the use of higherorder thinking skills in daily assignments. Students use calculators, graphing calculators, and computers. This course thoroughly integrates and makes connections to other areas of mathematics, to other disciplines, and to the real world. (2 credits)
Honors Geometry (Grade 9) develops a student’s ability to reason correctly, to try new ideas and to 35 solve problems. This course emphasizes the application of geometric ideas to natural and physical phenomena. It develops skills in visualization and pictorial representation of concepts. Honors Geometry integrates coordinate and transformational views of geometry with the traditional synthetic approach. Such integration enables students to see the unity in mathematics while solidifying algebraic skills. (2 credits)
Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry (Grade 10) is a study of variables, equations, and graphs within the content of data analysis. To use linear and nonlinear algebraic equations, students analyze reallife data then construct mathematical models that best fit the data. Students use computers and graphing calculators to create meaningful visual representations of algebraic concepts. To improve critical thinking, students explain, verify, justify and interpret routine and nonroutine problems individually or in groups. Students complete assignments promptly, neatly, and in a required format. (2 credits)
AP/Honors Statistics (Grade 11) uses a calculusbased approach to examine and apply the concepts of probability, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The class focuses on student collected data and the use of exploratory data analysis to examine the data. Students are prepared to take the AP Statistics Examination. (1 credit)
AP/Honors Calculus (Grade 11 or 12) prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Calculus BC Examination, although the exam is not required. The course uses a “reform” approach. This approach gives meaning to the symbols and develops students’ insight while illuminating questions in the physical sciences, engineering, and the social and biological sciences. Each topic is covered numerically, graphically and algebraically. (2 credits)
Linear Algebra (Grade 12) is a collegelevel semesterlong mathematics course for students of engineering, science, and mathematics. This course is a study of linear systems of equations, vector spaces, and linear transformations. Solving systems of linear equations is a basic tool of many mathematical procedures used for solving problems in science and engineering. The class helps students develop abstract and critical reasoning by studying logical proofs and the axiomatic method. (1 credit)
Differential Equations (Grade 12) is a collegelevel semesterlong mathematics course that will introduce students to modeling the real world in terms of differential equations. The laws of nature are expressed as differential equations. Many properties of differential equations have been understood mathematically and they have a history of being successfully applied to important problems in all areas of science and engineering. This course will introduce primarily linear, firstorder, and secondorder differential equations. Solution techniques for separable equations and homogeneous and inhomogeneous equations as well as a range of modelingbased applications arising in the context of engineering, physics and chemistry will be presented. The application of Laplace transforms to differential equations, systems of linear differential equations, linearization of nonlinear systems, and phase plane methods will be covered. Fourier series, a useful tool in signal processing, will also be introduced. (1 credit)
Required Sequence in Science:
Honors Physical Science (Grade 8) stresses that science is not about memorizing facts but rather is a continuous process of questioning and testing ideas. The year starts with an algebra and trigonometry based physics course. Throughout the year, there is effort to apply concepts introduced in students’ mathematics courses. At the start of the second semester, the course becomes a rigorous introductory level chemistry, with emphasis on learning how to draw conclusions and support them with collected data. (2 credits)
Honors Biology (Grade 9) is designed as a preAP Biology course, which is a prerequisite for AP Biology. The course will introduce the student to scientific inquiry through studying cellular processes, bioenergetics, genetics, ecology and biodiversity. This course provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze those interrelationships, to evaluate the risks associated when problems arise, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Students will be taught both the content and the skills that they need to succeed in science classes in the future. (2 credits)
AP/Honors Chemistry (Grade 10 or 11 or 12) explores the composition, structure and properties of substances and the transformations that they undergo. Students use factual knowledge as the basis for creative 36 approaches to solving problems, using critical thinking, trial and error, intuition and (above all) patience. Class is taught in a modified lecture style that allows for constant studentteacher, studentstudent interaction. Laboratory is an integral part of the course and special emphasis is placed on both oral and written expression of scientific concepts. The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry exam. Students receive training for outreach in chemistry related topics. (2 credits)
AP/Honors Biology (Grade 10 or 11 or 12)) is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course, covering three general areas: Molecules and Cells; Heredity and Evolution; and Organisms and Populations. The course’s two main goals are that students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and gain an appreciation of science as a process. Primary emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details, with attention to eight recurring themes: Science as a Process; Evolution; Energy Transfer; Continuity and Change; Relationship of Structure to Function; Regulation; Interdependence in Nature; Science, Technology, and Society. The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology exam. (2 credits)
AP/Honors Physics (Grade 12) is the equivalent of a college physics course usually taken by physics and engineering majors during their first or second year, providing an extensive introduction to fundamental concepts of physics in topics including Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, modern or “quantum” mechanics, optics, and electricity and magnetism. The course prepares students for the college physics sequence and for the Advanced Placement (AP) Physics C exam (Mechanics or E&M), with emphasis on concepts, problemsolving, and sound mathematical techniques. It also prepares students for any entry level, calculusbased college physics course. (2 credits)
Additional Requirements:
Introduction to Computational Thinking (Grade 8)Computational thinking is the new, indemand, 21^{st} century literacy skill every student needs. This semester long course will provide students the opportunity to explore the thinking practices associated with computer science. The course provides students with the opportunity to practice the four arts of computational thinking: decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, and algorithms. Students will hone their skills in Boolean logic, decisions and repetition through unplugged activities, programming microcontrollers and reflection on their work products. The first 11 weeks of the course will be focused on an overall introduction to computational thinking and computer science and the last 5 weeks will be focusing on networking concepts. Students will develop an ability to think computationally, which will prepare them to take AP Computer Science Principles in the 9^{th} grade. (0.5 credit)
AP Computer Science Principles (Grade 9 & new students entering in Grades 10 and beyond) is designed to introduce students to the central ideas of computing and computer science, to instill ideas and practices of computational thinking, and to have students engage in activities that show how computing and computer science change the world. The course is challenging and rich in computational content, includes computational and critical thinking and skills, and engages students in the creative aspects of the field. Through both its content and pedagogy, this course aims to appeal to a broad audience. The key concepts and related content are organized around seven big ideas involving six computational thinking processes. In this course, each of the big ideas (Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, the Internet, Global Impact) is taught in conjunction with one or more of computational thinking practices (Connecting Computing, Creating Computational Artifacts, Abstracting, Analyzing Problems and Artifacts, Communicating, Collaborating). Essential questions that students will explore are posed for each of the big ideas. These ideas connect students to a curriculum scope that includes programming but is not programming focused. Additionally, students will have opportunities to build their writing skills through portfolios, journals and technical writing. Weekly journal entries reflecting on learning and explaining the technical aspects of what has been learned are required for each student. Prerequisite: MS students – completion of Algebra I; NonMS students – completion of Algebra II. (1 credit)
Research I (Grade 9 & new students entering in Grade 10 and beyond) is designed as an introductory to the fundamentals of scientific research. Students will explore, create, and model processes involved in conducting a scientific investigation. In addition, students will design and complete an independent research project for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) regional qualifier (CARSEF) as well as develop skills necessary to successfully complete the Senior Research graduation requirement. The course design emphasizes the fundamentals of scientific research where students will explore, create, and model the processes needed for conducting a scientific investigation. Units of instruction will center on developing the main elements of a scientific report: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. (0.5 credit)
Research II (Grade 11) course is to prepare students to successfully design and complete an independent research project for the senior research symposium culminating at the end of the senior year. This includes developing time management skills, oral and visual presentation skills, studentcentered learning approaches, and critical thinking skills needed to review and constructively criticize the work of peers and professionals in the area of research. This course design emphasizes the fundamentals of scientific research where students will explore, create, and model the processes needed for conducting a scientific investigation. Topics covered will include but not limited to ethics in research, experimental design, methods of data collection, data analysis (use of statistics for evidence/reliability), literature review and critique of published work, writing a conclusion, citing and listing resources, and the peer review process. (0.5 credit)
Senior Independent Research Project (Grade 12) – The research experience usually begins during a student’s junior year. The student is required to develop a research question in an area of interest: mathematics, science, or computer science. There are three components to the research project:
 The practicum research experience in a laboratory
 The written research paper
 An oral presentation
The goal of this experience is to provide seniors with a handson research experience and a comprehensive scientific project. (1 credit)
Electives in Mathematics:
Note: The listing below is not meant to be complete. The faculty designs and teaches new electives each year to add to the list.
Euclid Team (Grade 8) is designed to prepare students for competition on the Algebra I team. Students are taught math problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills with activities are designed to supplement and enhance the regular curriculum. (0.5 credit/semester)
Phi Team (Grade 9) is designed to prepare students for competition on the Geometry team. Students are taught math problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills with activities designed to supplement and enhance the regular curriculum. (0.5 credit/semester)
Art of Problem Solving I/II (Grades 1012) is designed for students who are seriously interested in developing their math problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: Passion for doing math and finding a joy in challenges; permission of the instructor required. (0.5 credit each)
Applied Mathematics (Grade 1112) is for the math student who would like to continue the exploration of college level math topics and the development of their math problem solving/critical thinking skills. (0.5 credit/semester)
Electives in Science:
Note: The listing below is not meant to be complete. The faculty designs and teaches new electives each year to add to this list. During any given school year, some of these electives are offered:
AP Environmental Science course is an interdisciplinary course that encompasses natural sciences, 38 applied environmental science and social science. APES offers students a chance to understand both basic ecology and modern environmental issues. APES stresses rigorous scientific principles, inquirybased labs, quantitative analysis and articulation of student understanding through writing. This yearlong course meets for 45 minutes each day, and 3 hours of homework per week is expected.
Prerequisite: completion of Biology, Chemistry and Algebra II, unless approved by instructor. (1 credit)
AP Psychology (Grade 11 or 12) is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. (1 credit)
Marine Biology
Introduction to Electricity (Grades 1012) is designed to introduce students to introductory concepts of electricity and DC currents. Topics covered include DC current design, the use of probes, current boards, and digital meters, resistors, and capacitors and their functions. Other topics include Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Loop rule and circuits with resistors and capacitors both in series and parallel. Students will further explore these concepts via a minimum of eight to ten handson activities on computer simulation laboratories. Prerequisite: Algebra I (0.5 credit)
Introduction to Space Science (Grade 9) explores the mysteries of the universe in this laboratorybased course. Is there life out there on other terrestrial bodies? Students will examine the possibilities of where life came from on Earth, make comets, and examine how stars are born and how they die. Astrophysics and stargazing with a homemade telescope will also be done. This course incorporates the scientific method of study and all disciplines of science to discover what makes up the universe. (0.5 credit)
Organic Chemistry is a yearlong course. The first semester will focus on structure and bonding in organic molecules including isomers. Reaction mechanisms will be stressed and students will learn to design syntheses of compounds based on this knowledge. The second semester will continue to study reaction mechanisms with a focus on spectroscopy and application in biochemistry. There is a lab component for this course and will focus on chromatography, polarity, synthesis, functional group chemistry, and spectroscopy. Prerequisite: completion of AP Chemistry. (1 credit)
Electives in Computer Science:
Note: The list of courses below is not meant to be complete. During any given school year, some of these electives are offered.
AP Computer Science A (Grade 11 or 12) is a yearlong course intended as a collegeprep course for students planning to study computer science or other technical fields. However, this course is suitable for all students with an interest in computer programming. Even some nontechnical fields require students be familiar with basic computer programming. Since programming is the main component of computer science, a large portion of this course will be devoted to the design and implementation of computer programs to solve a given problem. In addition to understanding computer programming in general, and the Java language in particular, students will gain a clear understanding of the process of analyzing problems, proposing and evaluating solutions and implementing those solutions that are appropriate to program. Students will leave this class with the ability to solve new problems and adapt to new programming languages and methodologies that they will encounter in future school and job related assignments. This course emphasizes programming methodology, procedural abstraction and the indepth study of standard algorithms and data structures. Students will also study the history of computing and basic hardware and software components of computer systems, as well as the ethical, responsible use of these systems. Prerequisites: AP Computer Science Principles and permission of instructor. (1 credit)
Problem Solving with C++ is a yearlong course in which students develop their ability to create original programs to solve a wide variety of common programming problems. Although this course requires students to have completed AP Computer Science Principles, it does not assume prior knowledge of any particular programming language. Topics include selection, iteration, functional decomposition, recursion, memory allocation and dynamic data structures, classes and objectoriented programming, and incorporating library methods and other existing code into one’s work. The course includes an introduction to computer organization and operating systems, including binary representation, CPU architecture, and programming for the Linux command line. Prerequisite: AP Computer Science Principles (1 credit)
Make It with Computing I is a onesemester course which introduces modeling with 3D coordinates, emphasizing algorithmic object design using tools such as OpenSCAD, with results physically rendered using a 3D printer. Some assignments will produce art and others will solve engineering problems. Enrolling students should have at least an intermediate skill level in programming. This course may be taken as an art or M/S credit, and may be taken independently of Make It With Computing II (0.5 credit)
Make it with Computing II is a onesemester course about creating programs that go beyond the usual keyboard, mouse, and screen for input and output. Students will work with sensors and microcontrollers and use devices such as Arduino Lilypads and Kinects to create programs that interact with users in creative ways. Enrolling students should have at least an intermediate skill level in programming. This course may be taken as an art or M/S credit, and may be taken independently of Make It with Computing I (0.5 credit)
Electives in Engineering:
Note: The list of courses below is not meant to be complete. During any given school year, some of these electives are offered.
Introduction to Engineering I (Grade 912) is a high school level onesemester course designed for student who are interested in engineering. The main focus of this course is to provide exposure to various fields of engineering (mechanical, civil, aerospace, and electrical) as well as design process, teamwork, communication, and technical documentation through projectbased learning. In addition, students will use both 3D modeling and circuit design software to help them design solutions to proposed problems. (0.5 credit)
Introduction to Engineering II (Grade 912) is a high school level onesemester course in which students work in teams to develop a unique solution to a realworld problem. Students will apply the skills accumulated in Introduction to Engineering I as well as potentially all of their previous courses. Student teams will submit frequent written documentation of their project progress and will give formal presentations of their work at both the midterm and end of semester. (0.5 credit)

Competitions / Events
Math Competitions and Events
 Various math tournaments at the different middle & high schools in Alabama
 Rockdale Math Tournament  Conyers, GA
 The James S. Rickards Fall Invitational  Tallahassee, FL
 UAB Math Talent Search
 MATHCOUNTS
 Alabama State Written
 Alabama State Ciphering
 American Mathematics Competition
 American Invitational Mathematics Exam
 Mu Alpha Theta National Convention
Science Competitions and Events
 Alabama Middle & High School Science Bowl
 Central Alabama Regional Science Olympiad
 Central Alabama Science & Engineering Fair
 Alabama Science & Engineering Fair
 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair
 Alabama Junior Academy of Science Paper Reading
Robotics Competition
 FIRST Robotics  Huntsville, AL
Computer Science Competitions and Events
 Alabama Robotics
 High School Programming Contest
 Capture the Flag
 North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
 American Computer Science League Programming Contest

MathScience Alumni
Where are MathScience Alumni Now?
 Javacia Harris Bowser: Entrepreneur, educator, writer, and recent TEDX presenter
 Blair Farley: Mechanical Engineer at Alabama Power, working on electric vehicles
 Keith Gipson: Yale University School of Medicine MD/Ph.D. in neuroscience, founder of Charter Anesthesiology and Chair of Anesthesiology at Bristol Hospital
 Sh’Nese Townsend: Cancer Researcher at UAB
 Azalea Vo Miller: Graduated from Harvard University in Computer Science, currently a Software Development Engineer at Amazon
 Jorge Nunez: NASA astrobiology institute, Planetary Scientist and Engineer, Deputy Systems Engineer on New Horizons
 Fong Lui: Gynecologic Oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
 Brad Jantz: Air Force Academy graduate, astronautical engineering, priest and graduate student at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome
 Hriday Bhambhvani: enrolled at Stanford University Medical School
 Ronald Sherrod: Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduate, Engineer at ExxonMobil Corporation
 Usama Abbasi: Graduate of Harvard Medical School. Currently interning and doing residency at Massachusetts General Hospital
 Pratik Talati: Graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as a MD/PH.D. Currently interning and doing residency at Massachusetts General Hospital
 Aditi Jani: Fourthyear medical student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine
 Kevin Shrestha: Fourthyear medical student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine
 Komal Shah: Graduate of The George Washington School of Law. Currently a law clerk with Covington & Burling in Washington, DC