I’ve been on sabbatical for several months to write a series of books aimed at teaching computer algebra (using the open-source CAS wxMaxima) to lower division engineering, physical science and applied mathematics majors. The books are designed primarily to work as 1-semester 1-unit lab manuals (presumably used concurrently with the corresponding math course), but they will also provide a valuable “by example” reference for students studying computer algebra independently. This June I will publish the first two books as free .pdf files: “wxMaxima for Calculus I”, and “wxMaxima for Calculus II” under a CC-BY-NC-SA license allowing anyone to modify and/or redistribute the work for non-commercial purposes. This site will host the original .tex files and image repositories for those who want to create derivative works. I will also post an affordable print-on-demand link this summer.

I plan to write four additional books in the coming years for Pre-Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (maybe that’s the next sabbatical project?).

Here’s some CAS candy to keep you entertained in the meantime:

Stay tuned,

Zak Hannan

Instructor of Mathematics and Physics

Solano Community College, Fairfield, CA

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Mr. Hannan: I really appreciate all the hard work you put into the textbooks you are sharing. I am going to be teaching my children with your books in the near future (homeschooling). At any rate, if you would like I changed the cover (added a bit of color to it and joined up the two textbooks). I understand the benefit of two different textbooks. I think it is great, but if you think that a joined textbook (kinda cobbled together, but it looks very nice if I do say so myself)……might be useful, I could email it to you to post as an alternative download for those that want both textbooks at the same time….

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Thanks for your interest! When I decided to post the “small” books, I was thinking about a long-term plan to produce books for six different math courses, where each book would serve as a lab manual for the corresponding one-semester course. However, I’ve also decided that my next project will be to join the two existing works into a single book for single variable calculus. Most of that decision was motivated by finding out that the equivalent texts for Mathematica and Maple were written this way (I didn’t find these books until after I wrote mine). I’m slowly working through the texts to expand the topics and the exercises, and I’m hoping to put out a “combined” and expanded book in the next couple years. I would certainly be willing to host your combined text in the interim if you like. There is also a Spanish translation and possibly a Korean translation on the way, so I figure I can just make all these modified versions available on the main website. Remember, the CC-BY-NC-SA license allows you to “remix” and re-publish the work at will as long as you comply with the terms of the license. — Zak

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Wow…you really are doing a good work! Actually, its up to you if you want to post it in the interumn (the compendium I put together …or not…either way is okay with me.

On a side note, it is VERY interesting that you are putting together a Spanish and Korean translation of the books because those are the two languages that I know (besides my native language of course)…my wife is from Guatemala…(before I met her at the beginning of 2001 I spent two years in Korea as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (and there learned to speak Korean)……then of course I became interested in Spanish (mostly due to a cute Spanish woman that I wanted to get to know better ;)…but anyhow, yeah…very neat! Thanks for the reply!

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