When I began working on the Abstract Algebra textbook project with Dr. Savic, I was both nervous and excited. As a second year graduate student in the Math Department, I was nervous that my contributions to the project would be minimal. Nervousness quickly turned to excitement when Dr. Savic told me that we would have the opportunity to have not one, but two “sprints” this summer to help push the project along. I felt like this was my opportunity to really add to the project.
Once we began planning for the sprint, I learned something: Math is difficult, but writing a math textbook is even more difficult. To write a math textbook, you need good coffee, great collaborators, and outstanding resources; this is where the OU library comes in. Stacy Zemke provided us with not only the perfect location, but with all of the tools, for our sprint to be successful. Having the chance to bring the team together and meet in the faculty workspace was an invaluable opportunity for us. Over the course of 4 days, we were able to make phenomenal progress on the first four chapters and we left with a momentum that was indescribable.
We are lucky enough to have another sprint coming up. This time, we will be utilizing the brainpower of graduate and undergraduate mathematics students to help us perfect the first four chapters of the book. I am so excited to get to work with Stacy and the OU library again.
It is so thrilling to be working on such a meaningful project, but it is even more awesome to be doing so with so much support. Through the first sprint, I learned that writing a math textbook is definitely more of a marathon, maybe even an ultra-marathon, but I am ready to hit the ground running again for this next sprint!