Actuarial Science is the field of study that utilizes mathematics and statistics in assessing the risk of undertaking financial obligations. My expertise is in the application of actuarial science to the development and funding of retirement security programs. I am an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, an Enrolled Actuary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries - these credentials were obtained by successfully passing relevant professional exams.
A solid foundation in this subject can be critical to how a student feels about high school math (and math, in general). Not fully undestanding a certain topic can lead to future frustration as the school year progresses. That frustration can turn into a loss of confidence toward math. Simplifying expressions, binomials, powers, factoring, linear equations, and graphing don't have to be difficult topics but if a student misses a key idea on a certain class day, it can quickly snowball. Many times, all it takes to get back on track is some focused review work.
The second year of high school algebra introduces new concepts: logarithmic functions, exponential functions, series, sequences, conic sections (and learning how to sketch graphs of these curves). Sometimes the teacher and course move a little too fast for a student. A little help might be all it takes for the topics to make sense again.
Derivatives, integrals, limits, and infinite series. It can be mind boggling at first, but once that nut is cracked, this area of mathematics becomes an amazing gateway to understanding so much in the sciences. You game?
I have a background as an actuary and MBA training. Therefore, I have experience with many of the areas of discrete math typically encountered in introductory college coursework: set theory, combinatorics, probability theory, matrices and operations research.
I taught high school plane geometry and still look for new and interesting ways to use the material on a daily basis. Angles, figures, lines, area, similarity can be found everywhere and knowing how to work with them can be fun and exciting.
Sequences, series, limits, vectors, polar coordinates - these are many of the topics taught in pre-calculus that become the later foundation of calculus. The transition into calculus can be made so much easier if each topic in pre-calculus is mastered.
What are the chances that at least two people in your probability class have the same birth date? Let's work together and find out. I am an actuary and work with probabilities on a daily basis. The topic may seem hard but in many ways it is just using your common sense in a new and different manner.
Trigonometry studies the relationships between the sides and angles of a triangle. There is a lot more to it than just learning how to use the cos, sin, and tan buttons on your calculator. It is a rich subject and is used in many different areas of mathematics.
As noted in Wikipedia: "Fields that use trigonometry or trigonometric functions include astronomy (especially for locating apparent positions of celestial objects, in which spherical trigonometry is essential) and hence navigation (on the oceans, in aircraft, and in space), music theory, acoustics, optics, analysis of financial markets, electronics, probability theory, statistics, biology, medical imaging (CAT scans and ultrasound), pharmacy, chemistry, number theory (and hence cryptology), seismology, meteorology, oceanography, many physical sciences, land surveying and geodesy, architecture, phonetics, economics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer graphics, cartography, crystallography and game development."
It must be pretty useful stuff!