Author Archives: Matt Boelkins

Prelude to Active Calculus – feedback sought

I’ve been awarded a sabbatical for the fall semester of 2018 to write a new free, open-source textbook for GVSU’s new MTH 124: Functions and Models.  The purpose of this course is to prepare students not-yet-ready for calculus for a first semester course in calculus. MTH 124 has run for three semesters at Grand Valley, […]

Edfinity: a textbook-agnostic, NSF-funded nearly free online homework system

I’ve corresponded over the past couple of years with an education entrepreneur named Shivram about his company Edfinity.  They have an interesting project where they are working on an easy-to-use interface for online homework that allows instructors to access open problems and assign them to students for grades.  They have a sane and rational pricing […]

A few updates to the HTML version of Active Calculus

I’ve made the following corrections to fix some typos and other errors: The statement of the quotient rule in Section 2.5 mistakenly stipulated that the derivative of the denominator be nonzero, when of course it’s the denominator function itself must be nonzero. In Exercise #6 in Section 3.4, the cost of the top was accidentally […]

Check out sustainabilitymath.org

My friend and graduate school colleague Tom Pfaff of Ithaca College has done a lot of great work on issues related to sustainability.  He has a wonderful collection of free resources for instructors at his blog, http://sustainabilitymath.org/. In particular, you can find sources of real world data for your classes – especially stats, calc, or any […]

A new home for Active Calculus: https://activecalculus.org

I’m pleased to announce that the HTML version of Active Calculus will now be found at https://activecalculus.org/single/. At https://activecalculus.org/ you’ll find a landing page that includes an overview of features of the text, links to the various versions of the text, and notes about some ancillaries that are available upon request.  The PDF version remains at […]

More Linear Algebra

Many years ago, Gil Strang wrote a wonderful short essay titled “Too Much Calculus.”  His thesis:  calculus and linear algebra are imbalanced in the curriculum.  Even as the author of a calculus text, I totally agree.  Our students need more linear algebra, more in terms of time, exposure, and understanding. My phenomenally talented friend and […]

Metacognition in a calculus prep course

As usual, fall semester flew by. On Monday, August 28, I met with my two classes for the first time, and on that day we did an activity that I recounted in a Facebook post, where I wrote: “I followed Stan Yoshinobu‘s wonderful first day lead and asked my students as they met one another […]