Friday, October 24, 2014

BC Open Textbook Project: Calculus (guichard), DiffEq (Trench)

Two open source textbook authors that many in this group are familiar with sent me announcements recently (see below).  Looks like the folks at Simon Frasier are seeing if there is a viable business in offering print-on-demand versions of popular open source texts.  They've branded the effort BCCampus.

From David Guichard:

The BC Open Textbook Project is offering print copies of the book (Calculus, Guichard et al) in color cheaply:

I imagine it's a bit out of date, and probably only single-variable, but the price is amazing if it's any good.


From Bill Trench:

My "Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems" is now available  by print on demand from  BCcampus on,

which is  funded by the British Columbia (Canada) Ministry  of Advanced Education. The price: Approximately $27  for black and white or $83.00 for color. BCcampus derives no profit from this and I receive no royalties.  Unfortunately, this isn't  likely to appeal to US institutions because of the cost of shipping; for example, $52.00 to my New Hampshire address.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Open Source Resources at JMM 2015, San Antonio

The MAA Committee on Professional Development is organizing a poster session on Open Source Resources at JMM 2015, San Antonio.  Posters and short presentations about any aspect of open source resources, such as curricula, technology, modules, and supplemental materials for teaching undergraduate courses are welcome.

The "Poster Plus 5" session is (1) a very short talk (5 minutes or less) and (2) a poster session. The short talks will tentatively be scheduled in the morning of 1/13, and the poster session will be during the afternoon on the same day.  Short talks should be limited to just a few slides and a brief synopsis of the open source resource(s) you are presenting.  The goal of the short talk is to share the gist or main ideas of your poster.  Audience members who are interested in your materials will then be able to find you at the poster session.

Tuesday January 13, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-10:55 a.m. (short talks will be schedule during a subset of this time)

Tuesday January 13, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m (the formal poster session will be hosted in the afternoon)
Rm 213B, Convention Center

If you're interested in presenting the poster plus 5 session, please submit a title and abstract via the online form:

Timeline: The deadline to submit an abstract is the end of November 2014.  In December 2014 the poster plus 5 schedule will be finalized.

Questions or comments?  Please email the session organizers.

Yousuf George,
Thomas Judson,
Stan Yoshinobu,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Planet Money: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing

This economics oriented podcast gives a pretty nuanced explanation of the rapid rise in textbook prices and various responses.  Sadly, they do not mention the response that many of us are engaged in--the production of high quality, open-source, free textbooks.  After listening to the podcast, I have a much better understanding of the variables that drive textbook prices.  I highly recommend a listen. 

You can hear the 15 minute piece here: