Discrete math is essential to college-level mathematics and beyond.

David Patrick:

Most middle and high school math curricula follow a well-defined path:

Pre-algebra → Algebra 1 → Geometry → Algebra 2 → Trig / Precalculus → Calculus

Other middle and high schools prefer an “integrated” curriculum, wherein elements of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are mixed together over a 3-year or 4-year sequence. However, both of these approaches generally lack a great deal of emphasis on discrete math: topics such as combinatorics, probability, number theory, set theory, logic, algorithms, and graph theory. Because discrete math does not figure prominently in most states’ middle or high school “high-stakes” progress exams, and because it also does not figure prominently on college-admissions exams such as the SAT, it is often overlooked.