The chief goals of mathematics instruction at Hunter College High School are the development of problem solving abilities and understanding. We believe that these are at the heart of mathematics, and that they transfer to other academic areas and beyond. Thus, we emphasize creative and alternative methods of viewing and solving problems as opposed to a more mechanical, formula-oriented style of learning; in classroom instruction, we stress the why of mathematics, as opposed to a memory intensive approach. Classroom instruction and homework assignments are structured to include problem solving so that students experience the satisfaction and joy of doing mathematics and achieve a sense of mathematical self-reliance.