Discrete Math/Computer Science Pilot

The Need for Computer Science 

The computer science field is one of the fastest growing and highest paying career paths in Ohio. However, there is a limited supply of Ohio students interested in Computer Science. This is largely based on how exposed students are to computational thinking and computer science concepts. Additionally, educating students in computer science is beneficial for all students. With the digital age rising, there is a need to develop logical thinking and problem-solving which are all a part of learning computer science.

​Ohio’s Computer Science Standards and Model Curriculum give students experiences that help them discover and take part in a world continually influenced by technology and to understand the role of computing in Ohio.

What is Discrete Mathematics? 

Discrete Mathematics is an area of mathematics that most closely connects with the field of computer science. It is the study of mathematical structures that are countable or otherwise distinct and separable (as opposed to continuous quantities like in algebra or calculus).

Course Description

This course can count towards a student’s third or fourth unit of mathematics and is one of Ohio's new Algebra 2 equivalent Math Pathways' courses

Discrete Math/Computer Science (DMCS) will explore a variety of discrete math topics through a mix of hands-on classroom activities, traditional mathematical/logical reasoning and interactive computer science activities designed for students with no prior coding experience. Topics include Computational Thinking, Computer Logic, Game Theory, Counting/Combinatorics, Probability, Connectivity, Iteration and Recursion, and Cryptography. All topics emphasize logical reasoning, proof, and communication with precise mathematical and computer science language.
 
Ohio’s Learning Standards relevant to the integration of Computer Science and Discrete Mathematics are assigned to this course. During the next standard revision more standards specific to Discrete Mathematics may need to be developed.

Background

The Ohio Department of Education is partnering with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Ohio Math Initiative to create courses that will satisfy the credit requirement for Algebra 2. Several groups were formed: (1) An advisory council, made up of representatives from a variety of education organizations; (2) Math Pathways Architects, made up of higher education and high school math faculty; and (3) course-specific workgroups. 
 
The advisory council is focusing on equity, communication and supports surrounding systems and structures. The Math Pathways Architects group is focusing on aligning the math pathways between high school and college and career. These groups proposed a Discrete Math/Computer Science course as an Algebra 2-equivalent course.

Target Students

Discrete Math/Computer Science is beneficial for students who need a third or fourth credit in mathematics and are not intending to pursue a career that requires calculus. It is appropriate for students with limited or no prior programming. This course is ideal for absolute beginners who want to acquire a basic working knowledge of computer science. Discrete Math/Computer Science is designed to be a hands-on course that promotes reasoning using the standards for mathematical practice.
 
The course is especially appropriate for a student who has the following characteristics:

  • Anticipates a career in the emerging fields of computer science, computational data analysis or technology;
  • Is interested in applied fields of study that use mathematics;
  • Enjoys exploring mathematics in an engaging, hands-on environment;
  • Plans on pursuing a pathway that does not require calculus; and/or
  • Plans on pursuing computer technology or STEM fields at a postsecondary institution.

Students who succeed in this course may take an Algebra 2 (or other equivalent) course, College Credit Plus (CCP) course or Advanced Placement (AP) math course for their fourth unit of mathematics credit. Although students who take this course have flexibility in which follow-up math courses they take, this course pairs especially well with AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, a CCP Discrete Math Course, or a CCP Data Science course. Although, there are many careers in computer science or technology that do not require Calculus, if students become interested in an advanced degree in computer science that requires Calculus, they should take an Algebra 2 course in tandem with an AP Computer Science A course following this course.


Participating in the Pilot 

The Ohio Department of Education is seeking schools from across the state to participate in the Discrete Math/Computer Science Course Pilot for the 2022-2023 school year. 

As the Department is moving forward with the launch of the High School Mathematics Pathways initiative, the Department is collecting names of districts interested in participating in several pilots: Advanced Quantitative Reasoning (i.e., Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning), Data Science Foundations and Discrete Mathematics/Computer Science for the 2022-2023 school year. 
 
The Department's goal is to work with partner organizations to implement and scale these pilots. Therefore, the Department may turn the names of interested districts over to partner organizations who will then contact them about the pilot(s).  
 
To ensure the fidelity and implementation of the course, requests must include the completed application form and a permission form with the following signatures: 

  • The signature of the local school board president or district treasurer;
  • The signature of the local superintendent/building administrator; and
  • The signature of the professional staff bargaining unit leader.

To express interest in participating in the pilot, districts and schools submitted applications through Dec. 2021 via SurveyMonkey.
 
For questions, email Brian Bickley at Brian.Bickley@education.ohio.gov.


Note: Submitting interest does not guarantee selection into the pilot. All of these pilots are contingent on the Department securing funding.

Timeline 

  • Applications must be submitted by Dec. 17, 2021.
  • Schools will be notified of their acceptance in January 2022.
  • Upon acceptance, in early 2022, schools create a class in EMIS for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Piloting teachers and administrators attend a multi-day professional learning opportunity in summer 2022.
  • Begin pilot in the 2022-2023 school year.

Resources 

Last Modified: 7/11/2022 3:10:34 PM