The Mathematics Department at West High School would like to thank you for the opportunity to further your student's interest in Mathematics. Mathematics education has come a long way over the years. The profession is moving in a direction quite unlike that which we experienced growing up. The drill and kill philosophy of the past is being replaced by a modern student-centered, discovery-based methodology. The rigid formulas and static approaches of the past have not made a lasting impression for many people. Cooperative learning groups, technology, mathematical writing and public speaking common in today's classroom are areas never before taught in a traditional math classroom. These innovations allow mathematics to have a positive impact on people's lives. It is our goal to ensure that each student is equipped with the skills necessary to keep mathematics relevant and meaningful. We take this job very seriously.

Perhaps I could best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of entering a dark mansion. You go into the first room and it’s dark, completely dark. You stumble around, bumping into furniture. Gradually, you learn where each piece of furniture is. And finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch and turn it on. Suddenly, it’s all illuminated and you can see exactly where you were. Then you enter the next dark room…

—Professor Andrew Wiles