Algebra I is the entry point into the vast world of Mathematics. While it is primarily a Mathematics subject, it also teaches real world lessons in problem identification, logical thinking, and exploration of alternatives.
I am old enough to have first learned Algebra before the advent of computers in the classroom. I can offer some of the "old" fashioned approaches which may be simpler and easier than the methods being taught currently.
I personally enjoy Mathematics and have a repertoire of short cuts and tricks which I use for a brief change of pace when a student's attention lags.
Algebra 2 is where the power of Mathematics begins to become evident. While Algebra 1 typically deals with linear relationships, Algebra 2 introduces the non-linear relationships that can better model the business and physical worlds. With the right perspective, it can be a mind-broadening experience.
I have over thirty years of experience working in a variety of industries. At various times I have been the project manager for major software implementations and upgrades, "run the numbers" on potential merger/acquisition targets, and designed product distribution facilities. I have used my MBA degree while teaching college courses in leadership, operations management, statistics, and strategy.
My freshman honors course involved analog solution of first and second order differential equations. I took two quarters of differential equations during my sophomore year and a course in advanced differential equations during my junior year leading to a BS in Mathematics. I used my knowledge of differential equations in electrical engineering courses to model the performance of non-linear devices. My final project for my MS in Industrial Engineering degree involved simulation of differential equations.
I have taken Discrete Mathematics courses as part of my undergraduate degree in Mathematics. I have used Discrete Mathematics as a foundation for my Finite Mathematics courses at Lewis University and the University of Phoenix.
Business Mathematics is an applied branch of Mathematics that centers on financial challenges. Perhaps the most important question in business mathematics is to predict the time value of money given certain assumptions. For example, would it be better to receive $100 today or $110 in eighteen months? The answer, of course, depends on the assumed rate of return which may be available in alternative investments.
FORTRAN is my native computing language. I learned and used FORTRAN throughout my undergraduate work and subsequently used FORTRAN to write subroutines for the SLAMII models that I created for a former employer.
Geometry is one of the earliest branch of Mathematics. The Greeks believed that every fully educated person would have some knowledge and talent in Geometry. Today, high school Geometry not only present the knowledge that the Greeks developed, but it also serves as a course in logical thinking, problem identification, and problem solving.
Government & Politics
When the issue of "fairness" arose in one of my classes, I did a deeper dive into the subject. That work culminated in an informal presentation at a faculty meeting in the Spring of 2013 that began with discussions among some of the Founding Fathers of the United States and progressed through more recent issues.
With the increasing reliance on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and the sharply decreased cost of data storage, many companies are collecting tremendous quantities of data. The ability to understand, analyze, interpret, explain, and present quantitative information is likely to become more important in the coming years.
The Math portion of the GRE is challenging for many students. I actually enjoyed that section and did quite well. I appreciated the precise wording and variety of the questions.
I had a beginning course in Linear Algebra in my freshman year at Rose-Hulman and took a second, quite rigorous, in my junior or senior year. I have used linear algebra concepts in the finite mathematics and operations research courses that I have taught.
Microsoft Excel is, in my opinion, the star of the Microsoft Office Suite. It is a wonderful application. When used properly, it can do some amazing things. It is particularly useful when taking a Statistic course.
I have used Excel to analyze everything from the statistics in support of a doctoral dissertation to tracking shipments of DVDs and CDs to WalMart to analyzing the Air Force's strategic lift capabilities.
I have been a user of MicroSoft Project for many years. I have taught project and construction management for the US Army Engineer school, set up project plans with over 4,000 activities, and taught project management to undergraduates and MBA students.
Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences and is the foundation of chemistry and other life sciences. While Newtonian Physics have been around for several centuries, relativistic physics, thanks to Albert Einstein, has had a profound impact on the world in the past century. Now research into quantum mechanics and string theory is poking holes into our current knowledge.
Prealgebra is an interesting class. It is the gateway to the broad world of Algebra upon which much of the modern economy is based. I am old enough to know how calculations were done before the advent of hand held calculators, so I like to show students some short-cuts that are no longer taught in school.
Pre-calculus is a neat subject. Pre-calculus is the doorway to the world of Calculus. Calculus is the mathematics of change and variation which is fundamental to Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. It is also fundamental to a deeper understanding of finance, marketing, and economics. Since pre-calculus covers a variety of topics, there is enough variety in the material to keep things interesting and fun.
Probability is a fun subject. We all use it every day whether we realize it or not. Sometimes we rely on "empirical" probabilities as when we estimate which route to work in the morning will most likely be the fastest. Other times we have to resort to "subjective" probabilities when we make picks for a World Series or Super Bowl.
With the proper approach probability is actually overly difficult.
SPSS (Statistics Package for Social Sciences) is a premier statistical analysis package from IBM. One of its greatest features is that it is quite comprehensive. One of its greatest drawbacks is that it is so comprehensive as to sometimes be intimidating. I recommend developing an understanding of the question to be answered and arriving at what would seem to be the right answer before using SPSS (or other package) to work the statistics in detail.
Statistics can be viewed from several perspectives. In one sense, Statistics is the best tool for extracting usable and actionable information from the masses of data that exist in most ERP, CRM, and POS systems. From another perspective, it is an effective tool to support managerial and personal decision making. In this year of a Presidential election (polls), it can be a very interesting subject.
Trigonometry is the study of triangles, but it becomes much more. It is a foundation for understanding Physics, Chemistry, and the various flavors of Engineering. I have found knowledge of trigonometry to be of great value and usefulness in my career.