As we prepare for our first lecture of the year by Richard Rusczyk, we will share links to some articles that show his excellent observations on problem solving, education and their role in a full life. One of these outstanding articles is The Calculus Trap which begins with the following:

You love math and want to learn more. But you’re in ninth grade and you’ve already taken nearly all the math classes your school offers. They were all pretty easy for you and you’re ready for a greater challenge. What now? You’ll probably go to the local community college or university and take the next class in the core college curriculum. Chances are, you’ve just stepped in the **calculus trap**.

For an avid student with great skill in mathematics, * ***rushing through the standard curriculum is not the best answer**. That student who breezed unchallenged through algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, will breeze through calculus, too. This is not to say that high school students should not learn calculus – they should. But more importantly, the gifted, interested student should be exposed to mathematics outside the core curriculum, because **the standard curriculum is not designed for the top students**. This is even, if not especially, true for the core calculus curriculum found at most high schools, community colleges, and universities…

Please visit the Art of Problem Solving site to continue reading this and other articles by Richard and his colleagues.

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