Linear Algebra and Differential Equations in the Upper School

How does a large retail chain like Walmart transport their products around the world so effectively? How do the weather stations predict which way the hurricanes will travel? How do facial recognition programs work? Students are able to find the answers to these questions and more this year in the new Linear Algebra and Differential Equations course. King is one of the few schools in the nation that offers a college level Linear Algebra and Differential Equations course for students who have completed AP Calculus BC.

"We often call this course slash," comments US Mathematics Faculty, Kurt Schleunes. "It is more like a Linear Algebra/Differential Equations/Physics/Computer Science/Numerical Analysis/Computer Graphics/Art course. We study how Linear Algebra and Differential Equations are used in a wide variety of areas such as facial recognition software, 3D graphics software, linear programming, and the mathematical modeling of weather systems. It's a great way for students to see how all this mathematics gets used. The course is rigorous and the core material follows the typical first year curriculum at a top university."

The five seniors in the course (L to R) Elena Gribelyuk, Annika Ozizmir, Ali Wheeler, Matt Roer, and Jason Liu also gain valuable experience with programming in the Python language. Numerical solutions to differential equations are developed in the course and the students learn to write computer programs that will find numerical solutions to systems of differential equations such as the predator-prey model. They also use Matlab, a powerful programming platform that utilizes matrices for a wide variety of purposes.

Matt adds, "I really like Linear Algebra and Differential Equations because the course has allowed me to go deeper into the study of math and to a level I never thought I'd reach. It teaches advanced college level math and is run like a college class, giving me a preview of my life over the next 4 years. The course also involves elements of applied math, including developing a facial recognition program, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, as I hope to apply mathematical concepts to whatever I do in my life similar to the way we do in class. Overall, this class has gone beyond the scope of any math class I have taken before and I would recommend it to anyone who has a love for math."

"King School is attracting some of the top math and science students in the region. It is important that we have a course of this type to help them transition into college mathematics. Also, students who take this type of course go on to be very successful mathematics students at top universities," adds Mr. Schleunes.