Academic Insights: TCS Mathematics Department

It feels more than a little strange being away from the Trinity College School campus and the familiar energy that fills the hallways and classrooms of the mathematics department on a daily basis. Still, while the physical space is empty, teachers and students remain fully engaged with the learning process as we all adapt to teaching and learning at home. As I reflect on the early days of the TCS Connect program, I feel incredibly proud of (and inspired by) the energy, ingenuity, commitment and flexibility demonstrated by both teachers and students each day. As teachers look to adopt new platforms and educational apps that facilitate the delivery of lessons in an online environment, we ask for patience with the inevitable bumps along the road. Certainly, we will be patient and flexible with students as they also work to manage this new environment.

The department remains a familiar area to all students, since every student must take a minimum of three high school mathematics credits, and most choose to take four, five or even six. The department offers courses ranging from Advanced Placement (AP) classes in calculus and statistics to applied level classes in Grade 9 and 10. Students can choose pathways that are extremely “math-heavy,” in preparation for university courses in engineering, the sciences and some business programs; or they can choose pathways designed to develop mathematical literacy and comfort in a variety of other areas.

An enriching part of the department offerings are the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing’s numerous individual and team contests that many of our most enthusiastic students enjoy. While many had the opportunity to write the Pascal, Cayley and Fermat contests in February, it is unfortunate that the remaining CEMC math contests have been cancelled for the year. To fill the void however, many of our math club members have taken on the challenge of completing the “Antiviral Math Contest” that is set by the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) Math Society. The inaugural contest was Wednesday, April 8th, where TCS finished fifth, and the contests will run every two weeks until the end of the year.

Students and parents should also note that the Math Learning Center (MLC) remains open to support students. Students can access this support in the same way they access their classrooms, through Google Meet. It is open during each academic block and is staffed by a full-time faculty member or our outstanding faculty associate, Ms. Emily Zimmerman. The schedule is as follows:

  • Block A: Ms. Emily Zimmerman
  • Block B: Ms. Kristen Chen
  • Block C: Ms. Megan McNutt
  • Block D: Mr. Matt Fox
  • Block E: Ms. Kristen Chen
  • Block F: Ms. Megan McNutt
  • Block G: Ms. Emily Zimmerman
  • Block H: Mr. Matt Fox

While the MLC will continue to function as a virtual learning space for current math support, students are also encouraged to use it as a resource for getting strategies on preparing for math tests and final assessments. Course specific review packages will be available well in advance from teachers prior to final assessments being run in courses.

On top of all the math support available through TCS, here are three additional online resources that students may find helpful:

- By Steve Patterson, head of mathematics