Mathematics Spring, 2013

AP Calculus

AP Calculus students continued to learn new techniques of integration in the second semester of the course.  They used calculus to find areas and volumes and they applied calculus to parametric and polar functions.  In the final unit of the year, they studied infinite sequences and series and used calculus to approximate complex functions with polynomials.  An intensive review at the end of the course included a full-length practice test as students polished their skills for the AP Calculus BC exam.  Scores on the exam will be communicated electronically to students by the College Board in mid-July.

PI Day in SVGS Calculus

Each year, on or near March 14 (3.14), SVGS calculus holds its annual 

International Pi Day (and Albert Einstein’s birthday) celebration. Part of that celebration  is the Digits of Pi competition, in which students in each section compete for a $Pi prize
by reciting as many digits of pi as they can remember. This year’s winners were:

Period 1: Chelsea Bosserman 33
Period 2: David Eiker: 36
Period 3: Amber Puffenbarger: 39
Period 4: Becca Alexander 42

Grand Champ for 2013: Becca Alexander: 42

There is speculation that Becca inentionally ended her string of digits at 42, in tribute to Douglas Adams. We are also told that Pi Day saved Becca’s life. Having left home one morning without money for breakfast, sheremembered the crumpled envelope containing $pi in her backpack, and as a result, did not starve.

So Becca is the 2013 SVGS Pi Day Hall of Famer:

The SVGS Pi Day Hall of Fame:
2013 Becca Alexander 42
2012 Allie Matherlie 71
2011 Emily Hewitt 163
2010 Zach Barlow 86
2009 Nikki Marshall 147 (tied by Daniel Gauerke in 2011)
2008 Marion Tudor 91
2007 Matt Aronson 123

How about Mr. Irons? Although not elligible for any prizes, he also made it to 42 digits this year, using the following pi mnemonic (can you find 42 digits of pi in it?):

Poe, E.
Near a Raven
Midnights so dreary, tired and weary,
Silently pondering volumes extolling all by now obsolete lore.
During my rather long nap, the weirdest rap!
An ominous vibrating sound disturbing my chamber’s antedoor.
“This”, I whispered quietly, “I ignore.”
(Much more can be found at, which has the complete text of the Cadaeic Cadenza, Mike Keith’s adventure in constrained writing,
which gives a 3835 digit mnemonic for pi. Mike Keith has also written a 10000 word book in Pi-lish.)


Trial I (2)
APStats4 (4)APStats4 (17)Discrete Mathematics

Discrete Mathematics is about true-false (1-0), integer numbers, datasets, relations, graphs, trees and logic gates. It does listing & counting items, making logical arguments, grouping & sorting data (databases), analyzing relations, signal coding and decoding, computing and modeling. In this semester we introduced two new lab activities; one is Error Detecting and Correcting of CD Signals where students extended their knowledge of data encryption discussed in class to more practical encoding and decoding approaches. Another was an introduction to Relational Data Model for Databases. Students were provided opportunity to learn development and modification of databases, retrieving and presenting info from databases by using MS-Access.  We also made major changes of 3 other lab activities for more extensive usage of Maple.

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