Carl Friedrich Gauss
The Gauss Group is newly created this year and is in a transitional phase. When fully phased in, the Gauss class will target 9th and 10th grade students; this year the target is primarily 9th grade students (e.g., students who have moved up from last year's Euler class) and those students in adjacent grades both higher and lower who feel the class is right for them.
Present-year 10th graders may legitimately choose to join the Gauss class or the newly-named upper high school Cauchy class. This is a personal choice that may be guided by an interest in the topical mix of the Gauss class, or by an appetite for the higher level challenges of the Cauchy group. Students new to SDMC may find the Gauss group to be the more comfortable choice, while some students with past math circle experience be motiviated to try the Cauchy group.
Gauss students should be proficient with algebra and have a facility with geometry comparable to a full-year course at a basic level. Instructors will use algebra and basic geometry extensively without pausing to develop basic results. The topical mix is expected to draw from the full range of precalculus subjects such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, vectors, matrices, series etc.
Though we provide these guidelines, SDMC does not assign students to classes. Younger students who meet these academic criteria and who possess the maturity to integrate successfully with older students are welcome to participate in the Gauss class.
Gauss students tend to be very involved in mathematics competitions, so Gauss topics are sometimes oriented toward this end.
A couple of adult volunteers are needed in this class. Besides supervision, an important responsability of parent volunteers is to police the classroom at the end of each class session, to be sure the facilities are as clean and orderly as at the outset.
The "Gauss Coordinator" is a particular parent volunteer who assists SDMC in these matters.