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GVSU Mathematics Library Continues to Grow
GVSU Mathematics faculty have a long history of writing textbooks. Through 2008, this record is detailed nicely in Prof. Sundstrom's history of the mathematics department, which tells the story of the first 40 or so years of the department. In particular, at the page devoted to published texts, one finds a full listing that shows the department's engagement in the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics, in K12 education, and various collegiate courses.
In the past 5 years, there have been several new additions to the list, and more work is in progress.
- As we noted a couple years back in this newsletter, Professor Char Beckmann led a team of faculty and students (including faculty from other universities) in the development of the 13-volume series Adventures in Mathematics, a sequence of activity books that are designed to help students grow from one grade-level of understanding to the next, typically through self-study in the summer.
- Through a combination of his experiences in teaching Math 360 (Operations Research) and his own research interests in mathematics, Professor Paul Fishback wrote the textbook Linear and Nonlinear Programming with Maple, which was published by Taylor and Francis in 2011.
- Professor Matt Boelkins co-authored a revised version of an early text written by Jack Goldberg and Merle Potter. Differential Equations with Linear Algebra, published by Oxford University Press in 2009, is designed primarily for the hybrid differential equations and linear algebra courses taken by engineers, such as GVSU's Math 302.
- Three experienced textbook authors have joined forces on a new project. Jon Hodge (whose earlier work includes a book with Rick Klima on voting theory and elections), Steve Schlicker (who wrote Discovering Wavelets with Prof. Aboufadel), and Ted Sundstrom (whose Mathematical Reasoning text has become the standard book for our Math 210 course) are in the final stages of a new abstract algebra book. Titled Abstract Algebra: An Inquiry Based Approach, this book will be published by Taylor and Francis late in 2013. It offers activities throughout the text to engage the reader, builds students' intuition and abstraction through concrete examples, and is developed in a way that the material on groups and rings is interchangeable.
- In collaboration with David Austin and Steve Schlicker, Matt Boelkins has been developing a new calculus text that is both free and open-source. Designed to engage students through an active learning approach, a working draft of Active Calculus was completed in 2013 and has been piloted by several faculty at several different schools; it will be used by several GVSU faculty in the coming year. The present draft includes the core material for differential and integral calculus (GVSU's MTH 201 and 202), and a plan is emerging to develop similar work for multivariable calculus (GV's MTH 203). One interesting feature of the text is that students can download it in PDF format free of charge and can follow hyperlinks in the text to java applets that demonstrate fundamental ideas. You can learn more about this project from Matt's home page or blog.
This collective work by GVSU faculty is one sign of the department's continuing commitment to active scholarship that supports teaching and student learning.