Following the Transitions

Math is often described as a sequence of cumulative topics that must be learned sequentially, but this is not really true. Even at the most elementary levels, students do not follow the simple paths that have been laid out for them in the catalog, often zig-zagging back and forth through the available offerings.

We have traced the sequences of math classes that all students have followed over a ten year period and the patter is very difficult to follow. The following summarizes paths between a subset of math courses taken where each link has been followed by at least 100 students over the ten year period.