Monthly Archives: August 2012

Existing Free (or Very Low Cost) Calculus Texts

One of the overwhelming things about the Internet (to me, at least) is just trying to keep track of what’s out there.  With this post, I invite readers to contribute to a list of free (and where fitting, open) calculus texts that are available on the web; I’ve added two that are very low cost […]

A different challenge to publishers

From Insider Higher Ed, an interesting article on the startup “Boundless Learning”, which endeavors to provide text-like materials to students free of charge. “It does so, essentially, through reverse engineering — identifying widely used textbooks in certain fields (three last year, seven now) and then stitching together the best freely available material it can find […]

The cost of calculus texts

As fall semester begins and students return to campus, I can’t help but reflect on the cost of textbooks, and challenge myself to think about how this affects my students and me. Data from the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) show that in Fall 2005, there were over 600,000 students enrolled in calculus on […]

Initial Public Offering: Differential Calculus

[Update in January 2013: in addition to an updated version of the differential portion of the text, I’m pleased to publicly share four additional chapters for integral calculus.  See the download page at my GVSU site and/or this post here on the blog.] After working in seclusion throughout my sabbatical and sharing early drafts with […]

Open Textbooks

At Mathfest, I had the pleasure of meeting Rob Beezer and having some extended conversation with him.  Rob is a longtime proponent of free and open textbooks, as well as the author of one himself.  After my talk he said “You’re where I was 5-6 years ago.  We should talk.”  After sitting and listening and […]

Keith Devlin on Self-Publishing

“The procedure is so ridiculously straightforward, I can see no reason why anyone should ever publish another textbook a different way, given the huge expense of textbooks.” Read the whole thing:

“The limiting resource should not be access, but rather time and talent”

On Saturday morning in Madison at Mathfest, I attended a fantastic talk by Robert Ghrist, titled “Putting Topology to Work”.  He has apparently given versions of this lecture in several other locations, including the Young Mathematicians’ Conference at Ohio State; from their site at, you can watch a video of the talk.  Highly recommended. […]