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Common Core Mapping for High School: Number and Quantity

In high school, students will be exposed to the concept of real numbers augmented by imaginary numbers to form complex numbers.

Although the notion of number changes, the four operations stay the same in important ways. The commutative, associative, and distributive properties extend the properties of operations to the integers, rational numbers, real numbers, and complex numbers. Extending the properties of exponents leads to new and productive notation; for example, since the properties of exponents suggest that (51/3)3 = 5(1/3)·3 = 51 = 5, we define 51/3 to be the cube root of 5.

Calculators are useful in this strand to generate data for numerical experiments, to help understand the workings of matrix, vector, and complex number algebra, and to experiment with non-integer exponents.

In their work in measurement up through Grade 8, students primarily measure commonly used attributes such as length, area, and volume. In high school, students encounter a wider variety of units in modeling, e.g. acceleration, currency conversions, derived quantities such as person-hours and heating degree days, social science rates such as per-capita income, and rates in everyday life such as points scored per game or batting averages. They also encounter novel situations in which they themselves must conceive the attributes of interest. For example, to find a good measure of overall highway safety, they might propose measures such as fatalities per year, fatalities per year per driver, or fatalities per vehicle-mile traveled. Such a conceptual process might be called quantification. Quantification is important for science, as when surface area suddenly “stands out” as an important variable in evaporation. Quantification is also important for companies, which must conceptualize relevant attributes and create or choose suitable measures for them.

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Common Core for Mathematics

The Real Number System







Explain how the definition of the meaning of rational exponents follows from extending the properties of integer exponents to those values, allowing for a notation for radicals in terms of rational exponents. For example, we define 51/3 to be the cube root of 5 because we want (51/3)3 = 5(1/3)3 to hold, so (51/3)must equal 5.

Rational Exponents

Multiply radicals

Add & subtract radicals

Understand fractional exponents

Fractional exponents

Fractional exponents

Exponent Games


Rewrite expressions involving radicals and rational exponents using the properties of exponents.

Simplify Expressions with Exponents

Solve Exponential Equations

Manipulate fractional exponents

Simplifying expressions with exponents

Exponent Games


Explain why the sum or product of two rational numbers is rational; that the sum of a rational number and an irrational number is irrational; and that the product of a nonzero rational number and an irrational number is irrational.

Rational & Irrational Numbers

Rationalize the Denominator

Recognize rational and irrational expressions

Determine Rational or Irrational

Rational, Irrational Games








Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.

Use Units to Solve Problems

Reasonable units

Units and scale of graphs

Working with units algebraically

Choosing appropriate units in formulas

Measurement Games


Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling.


Define appropraite units



Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities.


Measurement precision



The Complex Number System







Know there is a complex number i such that i2 = –1, and every complex number has the form a + bi with a and b real.

Complex Numbers

Powers of i

Powers of i (negative exponents)

Complex Numbers



Use the relation i2 = –1 and the commutative, associative, and distributive properties to add, subtract, and multiply complex numbers.

Add, Subtract and Multiply Complex Numbers

Add Complex Numbers

Subtract Complex Numbers

Multiply Complex Numbers



(+) Find the conjugate of a complex number; use conjugates to find moduli and quotients of complex numbers.

Complex Numbers- Divide & Modulus

Absolute Value of Complex Number

Divide complex numbers



(+) Represent complex numbers on the complex plane in rectangular and polar form (including real and imaginary numbers), and explain why the rectangular and polar forms of a given complex number represent the same number.

Complex Plane

The Complex Plane

Complex number polar form intuition

Rectangular and polar form of complex numbers



(+) Represent addition, subtraction, multiplication, and conjugation of complex numbers geometrically on the complex plane; use properties of this representation for computation. For example, (-1 + √3 i)3 = 8 because (-1 + √3 i) has modulus 2 and argument 120°.

Operations on the Complex Plane (include DeMoivre's Theorem)

Complex plane operations



(+) Calculate the distance between numbers in the complex plane as the modulus of the difference, and the midpoint of a segment as the average of the numbers at its endpoints.


Distance on the Complex Plane

Midpoint of two Complex Numbers



Solve quadratic equations with real coefficients that have complex solutions.

Quadratic Equations with Complex Solutions

Quadratic formula with complex solutions



(+) Extend polynomial identities to the complex numbers. For example, rewrite x2 + 4 as (x + 2i)(x – 2i).

Polynomials with Complex Solutions

Expressions with complex numbers

Factor Quadratics with Complex Solutions



(+) Know the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra; show that it is true for quadratic polynomials.

Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

Fundamental Theorem of Algebra


Vector and Matrix Quantities







(+) Recognize vector quantities as having both magnitude and direction. Represent vector quantities by directed line segments, and use appropriate symbols for vectors and their magnitudes (e.g., v, |v|, ||v||, v).

Vector Quantities

Recognize vector quantities



(+) Find the components of a vector by subtracting the coordinates of an initial point from the coordinates of a terminal point.

Vector Components

Vector Components

Vector Components



(+) Solve problems involving velocity and other quantities that can be represented by vectors.

Vector Word Problems

Vector Word Problems

Vector Word Problems



(+) Add and subtract vectors.

See Below



Add vectors end-to-end, component-wise, and by the parallelogram rule. Understand that the magnitude of a sum of two vectors is typically not the sum of the magnitudes.

Given two vectors in magnitude and direction form, determine the magnitude and direction of their sum.

Add Vectors

Add and subtract vectors in rectangular form

Add vectors in magnitude and direction form

Graphically adding and subtracting vectors



Understand vector subtraction v – w as v + (–w), where –w is the additive inverse ofw, with the same magnitude as w and pointing in the opposite direction. Represent vector subtraction graphically by connecting the tips in the appropriate order, and perform vector subtraction component-wise.

Subtract Vectors

Graphically adding and subtracting vectors

Subtract Vectors



(+) Multiply a vector by a scalar.

Represent scalar multiplication graphically by scaling vectors and possibly reversing their direction; perform scalar multiplication component-wise, e.g., as c(vxvy) = (cvxcvy).

Compute the magnitude of a scalar multiple cv using ||cv|| = |c|v. Compute the direction of cv knowing that when |c|v ≠ 0, the direction of cv is either along v (for c> 0) or against v (for c < 0).

Scalar Multiplication of Vectors

Scaling vectors

Unit vectors



(+) Use matrices to represent and manipulate data, e.g., to represent payoffs or incidence relationships in a network.

Application of Matrices

Represent relationships with matrices

Matrices to represent data



(+) Multiply matrices by scalars to produce new matrices, e.g., as when all of the payoffs in a game are doubled.

Scalar Multiplication of Matrices

Scalar matrix multiplication



(+) Add, subtract, and multiply matrices of appropriate dimensions.

Add, Subtract, Multiply Matrices

Defined & undefined matrix operations

Add, Subtract Matrices

Multiply Matrices



(+) Understand that, unlike multiplication of numbers, matrix multiplication for square matrices is not a commutative operation, but still satisfies the associative and distributive properties.

Properties of Matrix Multiplication

Properties of matrix multiplication



(+) Understand that the zero and identity matrices play a role in matrix addition and multiplication similar to the role of 0 and 1 in the real numbers. The determinant of a square matrix is nonzero if and only if the matrix has a multiplicative inverse.

Zero, Identity, Inverse Matrices

Zero and identity matrices

Null, Identity, Inverse Matrices



(+) Multiply a vector (regarded as a matrix with one column) by a matrix of suitable dimensions to produce another vector. Work with matrices as transformations of vectors.

Multiply a Vector by a Matrix

Multiplying a matrix by a vector



(+) Work with 2 × 2 matrices as a transformations of the plane, and interpret the absolute value of the determinant in terms of area.

Matrix Transformation

Determinant and Area

Geometric transformation with matrix multiplication



Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway widget below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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