Mathematics: Analysis and approaches
In the history of mankind, mathematical ways of thinking and solving problems typically evolved when societies became more complex. Number systems and geometric figures were used to understand and explain phenomena in nature and human interaction. Examples are the advanced civilizations of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks. Quite early, international cooperation developed (e.g. Greek mathematicians working in Alexandria) and has been intensified ever since (in most high ranking universities of the world a multicultural team of mathematicians can be found). This makes sense since the mathematical approach of solving problems is rather independent from the spoken language although a cultural touch sometimes can be noticed. In fact, mathematicians have built an international symbol system which can be seen as a language of its own and which is understood worldwide by insiders. This point of view will often be emphasized in the course. Historical references in the lessons support this approach. Though English will be the language of instruction, technical term comparisons to other languages, especially German, might be helpful to enhance the international perspective of our students.
The course is aimed for the students to develop logical, critical and creative thinking. They are trained to be patient and persistent in solving problems in a variety of contexts. Recognizing links between different areas of mathematics as well as stressing connections to other fields of science should be realized as useful concepts by the course members. Additionally, the students should be able to present their results and to communicate clearly with other people dealing with the same or similar matter. Knowing and using correct mathematical notation and terminology belongs to the objectives of the class as well as applying appropriate technological devices as mathematical tools (e.g. graphic display calculators [GDC]). Short histories of mathematical pioneers and events are going to be part of the lessons.
The Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK), the official state body representing the educational ministries of the 16 German states, recognizes the value of both levels as valid university preparation. Students intending to study a subject related to mathematics, technical studies/technology including engineering and natural sciences will be required to take Mathematics at HL. Students intending to study any other subjects (including medicine) can take Mathematics SL to be admitted to a German university.
Subject Brief: Mathematics SL/HL