Mathematics, available as a higher level (HL) subject only, caters for students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right, or within courses such as Physics, Engineering and Technology. Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging its problems. The nature of the subject is such that it focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible and coherent way. This is achieved by means of a carefully balanced approach: students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solving problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts whilst, at the same time, being introduced to important concepts of rigor and proof.
Students embarking on this course should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure in their studies, and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between parallel structures in different topic areas. They should also be encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.
The course is clearly a demanding one, requiring students to study a broad range of mathematical topics through a number of different approaches and to varying degrees of depth. Students wishing to study mathematics in a less rigorous environment should therefore opt for one of the standard level programs: mathematical methods or mathematical studies.
The Core syllabus consists of: Number and Algebra, Functions and Equations, Circular Functions and Trigonometry, Vector Geometry, Matrices and Transformations, Statistics, Probability, and Calculus. In addition, an optional paper is chosen from: Statistics, Sets/Relations and Groups, Discrete Mathematics, Analysis and Approximation, and Euclidean Geometry and Conic Sections.