One of the very best parts of the workshop this week has been the time I’ve gotten to spend with the people here, some of whom I had followed online or traded email with, but never met in person. Others I had talked with briefly at conferences, and of course there are a couple of long-time friends as well. Anyhow, the schedule has allowed for lots of time for collaboration and discussion. In this post I want to introduce a few of these fine folks to you all and to make sure you’re aware of their various projects.
Greg is the lead author behind APEX Calculus, and has also written free and open materials on Matrix Algebra and using MATLAB. “APEX” stands for “Affordable Print and Electronic Textbooks,” and the books Greg and his colleagues have created are free to download and can be purchased in print at very low cost. He’s done some very nice work with interactive 3D graphics, too, which you can explore if you download the PDF of the calculus text and explore the file in Adobe Acrobat (note: it’s a big file, so may take awhile to load).
Alex is a WeBWorK developer and, as mentioned in my previous post, is the primary person who’s figured out how to put live WeBWorK exercise in HTML via MBX. Alex and his colleagues at PCC are working on developing and implementing the use of Open Educational Resources, and have a beautiful proof-of-concept in their Calculus Lab Manual for their first term differential calculus course.
Jim is one of the leaders of MOOCULUS at Ohio State, and you really should check out the materials he and his colleagues have developed, including their video library. Jim also has some very interesting results on assessment for how student attitudes and habits are linked to performance and understanding.
Through my work at PRIMUS, I’ve been aware of Volker and his colleagues at Westfield for several years now. They have a beautiful ongoing project that combines IBL and Liberal Arts Mathematics called “Discovering the Art of Mathematics,” and you can learn more about the project from that link, including sample materials for one of the course versions. Their special issue in PRIMUS on art & mathematics is also forthcoming soon (I believe the next issue that will appear online at the first link above).
I know Mitch through the MAA’s Project NExT and because he’s been a user of Active Calculus. Indeed, Mitch is working on a chapter that he’ll contribute to AC-Multi at some point in the near future. But his big project is an Applied Combinatorics Text that he wrote with his PhD thesis advisor.
Jen has an IBL game theory text that is also free and open, and she has been working closely with Rob this week to get her book up on GitHub and also to do the conversion to HTML. You can go to that link now and download the text for yourself to check it out.
It’s been great to have Steve Schlicker here from GVSU, too, so that we can talk about issues with Active Calculus single & multivariable and to start to develop a plan for how we’ll go forward. We have a lot to talk about and even more to do.
As fun as the week has been, it’s also a bit overwhelming. So much to learn, so many decisions to make, so much to do. Grin. I could use a whole summer just to explore the materials that are listed above in this post and to learn and study what others have done and how they did it. It will be great moving forward to try some new things, to endeavor to bring Active Calculus up to a level closer to the mature books of folks like Rob and Tom, and to continue to be part of this movement.
A huge thank you to AIM and the NSF for funding our week and making this workshop possible. And of course to our fantastic organizers: Rob, David, and Kent.