The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

LAHS introduces new math course: Advanced Statistics & Data Science

Oscar Johnson
Los Altos High School will debut a new math course, Advanced Statistics and Data Science, for the 2024-2025 school year.

Still looking through your math options for the next school year? Coming to Los Altos High School next school year is Advanced Statistics & Data Science (Adv Stats & Data Science on the course catalogs), a math course with plans to go beyond basic math concepts and routine math class curriculums.

Adv Stats & Data Science will introduce data science with a focus on modern real-world applications. The course concept was first introduced to the Math Department and LAHS administrators by the Math Department Coordinator and Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics teacher Adam Anderson.

“The goal for Adv Stats & Data Science is to introduce what professional data scientists do to students of various levels,” Anderson said. “We’ll be looking at statistics and math through the lens of how you analyze data.”

Adv Stats & Data Science will be a pilot course and subject to curriculum changes based on student evaluation. The course will qualify for University of California A-G graduation credits. Juniors and seniors are encouraged to take the course, assuming the math prerequisites Algebra I and Geometry. Students are not required to have previous data analysis or programming skills.

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The curriculum will be sourced from CourseKata, a group of university teachers from Los Angeles that design interactive statistics and data science textbooks for high school and college students. Of the three high school-level textbooks offered, LAHS will use CourseKata’s high school ABC curriculum as a full, two-semester course. 

“To be able to make decisions, look at data, understand data, question and interpret it correctly is an important problem for the everyday person,” CourseKata Content Director and California State University, Los Angeles professor of psychology Ji Son said. “For anyone who wants a job in the future, they’re going to need to know how to use data.”

Adv Statistics & Data Science differs from LAHS’s current statistics classes, Statistics and AP Statistics, because the two current statistics courses teach methods primarily used before modern technology that can solve a problem for students within a few seconds. 

Following the arrival of Adv Stats & Data Science, LAHS administrators have been discussing the potential removal of Statistics. While AP Statistics enrollment numbers have been continuously expanding, reaching 190 enrolled students in the 2023-2024 school year, Statistics has a mere 53 students. Assistant Principal Fabian Morales explained that Adv Stats & Data Science will take what Statistics teaches and give students more practical applications beyond a theory-based class.

“Understanding data, and what data can tell you is becoming incredibly important across all business, sciences and so many other fields,” Anderson said. “A graphing calculator can answer a math question in one step — we need to reflect that in what we’re teaching, and get students ready for the world they’re going into.”

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About the Contributors
Ashley Tumacder
Ashley Tumacder, Staff Writer
Oscar Johnson
Oscar Johnson, News Editor

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