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).
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.
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.
The following districts and Educational Service Centers (ESCs) are participating in the pilot during the 2022-2023 school year:
K-12 School Districts
- Colonel Crawford High School
- Licking Heights Local Schools
- Metro High School
- Morgan High School
- Norwood City School District
Olentangy Local Schools
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, in partnership with the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA), is providing opportunities to expand the High School Mathematics Pathways Initiative to support districts for the 2023-2024 school year. The application window for the Discrete Mathematics/Computer Science pilot opens Thurs., Nov. 10 through Dec. 16. This course can count toward a student’s third or fourth unit of mathematics credit and is one of Ohio’s Algebra 2 equivalent Math Pathways courses.
For questions, email Brian Bickley at Brian.Bickley@education.ohio.gov.
- Discrete Math/Computer Science Application (Read-only PDF)
- Application window opens Thursday, Nov. 10.
- Application window closes Friday, Dec. 16.
- Applications must be completed online. A read-only PDF version of each application is available for pre-planning purposes only.
- A confirmation email will be sent via email upon submission of the application.
Note: Submitting interest does not guarantee selection into the pilot.
Last Modified: 11/10/2022 6:24:23 AM