I’ve uploaded a pdf of Solutions to about half the problems in the Cartoon Guide to Calculus. You can either download it or read it in your browser. You should also look at the Errata sheet, which details a number of errors in the early printings of the book. (These links are also on the Calculus page on this site.) I’ve recently sent the publisher a revised electronic file that fixes all the mistakes (and makes minor changes to the problem sets), and as soon as the the corrected edition is in print, I’ll post an update here.
The electronic version of The Cartoon Guide to Calculus is now available from iTunes. This will be iOS compatible only. At present, Kindle support for graphic books is still too primitive, but HarperCollins has been good enough to make a “fixed-format” edition available for the iPad. I’ve seen it, and it looks just like the paper version, but without paper…
Hey! Wow! HarperCollins made a fixed-format ebook of The Cartoon Guide to Calculus. I know this because I’ve seen it. This is iPad only, and it won’t be on sale until the end of March… but it exists. It really, really exists!
Reader Chuck commented in the last post,
“It always seemed environmentally wasteful to have a new version every year with minor differences that tanked the resale value of the previous book. Add the obligatory CD-ROM extras (which I don’t remember ever having to use) that once opened meant no resale would be possible at all and you really feel like you are being taken for a ride.”
The only thing I have to add is that the flip side of this is the counterattack from Apple, which promises to provide textbooks at $15 a pop. I can’t conceive that anyone can make money writing one at that price level, especially if the “book” is to have the software enhancements that everyone craves.
Via Professor Mike Klymkowski, here’s “Afraid of Your Child’s Math Textbook? You Should Be,” a long, thoughtful piece by Salon blogger Annie Keeghan on the state of the textbook business. It’s not a pretty picture.
Keegan describes in detail the consolidation of the industry into a few huge publishers and the market forces that impel them to push sales and volume over accuracy and coherence. For writers it means a pay cut. For students, something even worse. This has to change.
Via Naked Capitalism comes this video. You never know. Could be true.
Bruce Alberts, the preternaturally accomplished editor of Science Magazine, has written a great editorial about bio education. I’d post the link, except that it leads to an onerous registration process. Instead, here are some quotes:
“When we teach children about aspects of science that the vast majority of them cannot yet grasp, then we have wasted valuable educational resources and produced nothing of lasting value. Perhaps less obvious, but to me at least as important, is the fact that we take all the enjoyment out of science when we do so.”
“The preference for “rigor” in science education can also interfere with the teaching of science at the college level. For example, in an introductory biology class, students are often required to learn the names of the 10 enzymes that oxidize sugars in a process called glycolysis. But an obsession with such details can obscure any real understanding of the central issue, leaving students with the impression that science is impossibly dull, causing many to shift to a different major.”
“Tragically, we have managed to simultaneously trivialize and complicate science education.”
Sounds as if he’s calling for a more—dare I say it?—cartoony treatment. The second part of his editorial, due out later this week, will let us know if I’m right.