Early Sprint Progress

Cody Taylor

Dr. Savic summed up yesterday’s sprint best in a tweet. It was bananas. At least eight Mathematics graduate students were split into two groups. Each group was tasked with proofreading and proving one chapter each of the Abstract Algebra textbook that Dr. Savic and his colleague, Dr. Dave Hren drafted a few weeks ago.

Dr. Savic, was torn between each group who would call out to him for assistance or to bounce and idea off of him; however, most often the students were notifying him of mistakes they had found or suggesting alternative ways of presenting a certain piece of material. Today, the two groups have swapped chapters. The group that edited chapter one yesterday is working on chapter two today. Likewise the group who edited chapter two yesterday is working on chapter one today. The idea there is that each piece of material will be scrutinized by two separate groups before making its way into the published version of the textbook. The students are also working on homework problems whose solutions will be TeX’d (mathematically typeset) and then added to a students’ manual that will supplement the textbook.

Assisted by Molly Stubblefield, Dr. Savic’s graduate assistant, fueled by cookies, bananas, and free dinner at the close of the day, the cohort is hard at work again this afternoon and plans to meet each afternoon this week until the entire book has been edited twice. Dr. Savic seems to be ecstatic about the work his students have done so far. He and I both can’t wait to see the fruits of their hard work published online in the form of an open textbook that will be free for all students and faculty to use, locally or otherwise.

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