Mathematics textbook now available on Scholar Works

All mathematics majors and minors at Grand Valley are required to take MTH 210: Communicating in Mathematics. The course is intended as an introduction to mathematical proofs and serves as a transition from the problem solving calculus courses to the more theoretical upper-level courses.  

Because the course is a supplemental writing skills course (SWS), Ted Sundstrom said it was difficult to find a suitable textbook to accompany the course in the 1990s. According to Sundstrom, professor of mathematics, there were very few texts that taught writing in mathematics. Another problem, he said, during that time was that the books were not easy to use in a course that emphasized active learning. In the late 1990s, he decided to write a book to address those issues.

His text, “Mathematical Reasoning, Writing and Proof,” contains four features new to most mathematic textbooks: writing and instruction to write mathematical proofs, instruction to construct proofs, active learning in mathematics, and use of elementary number theory and congruence arithmetic throughout the text.

Pearson Education Inc. published the first two editions of the text but the third edition is now available on Grand Valley’s Scholar Works as a free open-source text and has been approved by the American Institute of Mathematics. Since the text launched in 2013, it has been downloaded more than 2,200 times. A print on-demand copy of the text is also available for purchase on

Sundstrom joined Grand Valley in 1973. He has published numerous works, including, “Abstract Algebra: An Inquiry-Based Approach” (coauthored with Jonathan Hodge and Steven Schlicker), “Exploring Calculus with a Graphing Calculator” (coauthored with Charlene Beckmann), and he has been published in “The Mathematics Teacher” and the “Journal of Algebra.”


Page last modified January 9, 2014