Mathematics Professor Michael Boardman Appointed AP Chief Faculty Consultant

The College Board has appointed Pacific University Mathematics Professor Michael Boardman to serve as the Advanced Placement (AP) Chief Faculty Consultant, also known as Chief Reader, for its newest course, AP Precalculus. In this role, he is responsible for outreach to colleges, serves on the Development Committee for AP Precalculus, and will oversee the AP Precalculus Readings, where hundreds of high school and college faculty score the AP Precalculus exam. Boardman’s term lasts through June 2027.

Designed to help improve mathematics readiness nationwide, AP Precalculus will beMichael Boardman, Pacific Univ. Math Professor available in high schools  starting 2023-2024. Boardman describes the addition of the curriculum as a much-needed shock to the educational system, which has the potential to change the landscape for high school students transitioning to college, particularly in STEM fields.

“It will allow students, who might only skim the surface of calculus, to slow down and really learn the material in-depth that will help them be more successful when they get to college,” Boardman said.

“Not all school districts offer AP Calculus. Offering AP Precalculus will create a huge opportunity for students in underserved communities to learn critical skills and earn college credit.”

In 2022, more than 2.6 million students took close to 4.8 million AP exams across 38 subjects. A student’s score on the AP Precalculus exam can help determine appropriate placement in college mathematics courses as well as credit for college-level proficiency, which can also lead to tuition savings.  

“AP Precalculus provides an excellent foundation for calculus and also opens pathways to success in STEM fields. The curriculum, while remaining true to traditional precalculus topics such as logarithmic and trigonometric functions, includes additional tools and skills such as the use of logarithmic scales, and modeling discrete dynamical systems with matrices,” Boardman said.

“These, together with an emphasis on rates of change and applications, provide students the mathematical knowledge and skills that will prove tremendously beneficial in biology, chemistry, environmental science, kinesiology, and other sciences."

Precalculus deals with functions, and science students need to understand functions mathematically and conceptually. With the addition of advanced precalculus topics including regression, the hope is that science teachers won’t have to re-teach certain mathematical concepts.

Boardman’s role with the College Board impacts the lives of students, teachers and college faculty across the country. Previously, he served as Chief Reader for AP Calculus from 2008 to 2011 and has been involved with AP Calculus Reading for more than two decades. Boardman is among 34 college faculty who serve as Chief Readers for 40 different subjects.

He joined Pacific University in 1995, and earned his PhD from the University of Oregon and a master’s from Western Washington University.

Learn more about the AP Precalculus curriculum from the College Board.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022