Scott LaViollette

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Mandelbrot Set

My name is Scott LaViollette, and I am a math teacher at Capital High School. I graduated from Washington State University with my Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics back in 1994, and have been teaching high school math ever since. Because of my focus on the pure aspect of mathematics (combined with my study of philosophy), I view math as a connected system with all the branches being related in some way. I focus on the connected nature of mathematics and its use in our everyday logical thinking, and I am much less concerned with specific applications for math in potential careers.



purple spiral fractal

Mathematics is the most misunderstood (and maligned) discipline in school. People, in general, mistake computation for mathematics, and assume that if they are not good with numbers then they are bad at math. Mathematics is not about numbers, it is about thinking and solving problems. Any problem, whether it involves numbers or not, requires mathematical thinking to find a solution. Mathematical thinking involves both analytical thinking and creativity, and math has very close connections with science, music, and art. The latest brain research shows that the mere attempt to solve a previously untried problem (numerical or not) will cause the brain to grow new neural connections. During the course of the year, we will try a variety of new problems and investigate math in a number of different ways. In the end, your attempts to "Do the Math!" will lead to a better understanding of mathematics, and your very efforts will have made you smarter.


Fractal Images are courtesy of Blatte's Fractals ( Used by permission.