OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
1y ago
You can now find all previous posts — and, more importantly, all future posts — for this blog at https://activecalculus.org/blog ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
2y ago
A list of things you might find helpful if you are teaching or learning from APC, ACS, or ACM: + Updated HTML There have been minor updates to the HTML for APC and ACS. These are almost all tiny and fix small typographical issues. The PDF and print versions have not been updated because of the extensive work involved in generating those formats. The HTML version is always the most up-to-date and definitive. + Read This! In both APC and ACS, there are sections in the preface titled “Students! Read This!” and “Instructors! Read This!” If you are new to using APC or ACS, these are strongly recomm ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
2y ago
My wife is a professional knitter. She designs patterns, teaches classes and techniques, works at major events like Rhinebeck (think “yarn conferences”) and manages the social media for a yarn company and a yarn shop. Yarn folks often engage in a “knitalong” where a group of knitters gather regularly — sometimes in person, sometimes by Zoom — to work through a pattern together, occasionally led by the pattern designer themselves. This gave me the idea for a “teachalong”. This fall, one of my classes at GVSU is Math 202, Calculus 2. I haven’t taught this class in 10 years, and already in planni ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
2y ago
I’ve written a rough draft of a very different version of Chapter 8 for Active Calculus (single variable), and I am interested in feedback from users. TL;DR version: I have come to think that the Taylor series representations of the sine, cosine, and exponential functions are the most important series-related ideas in calculus 2, and the details of convergence tests are not. So I wrote a chapter with its central focus on the former, and very limited discussion of the latter. Taylor polynomials provide an intuitive way to see why infinite series are important, and their approximations of non-po ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
2y ago
In late June, I was fortunate to attend a week-long UTMOST workshop in Ann Arbor that brought together education researchers, PreTeXt developers, Runestone developers, and textbook authors. The newest part to me was learning more about Runestone. Runestone Academy was founded by Brad Miller in 2011; Brad is an emeritus professor of computer science at Luther College, and his original goal was to have textbooks with interactive code that the reader could experiment with. More than a decade later, he has an amazing platform that is part textbook-hosting service, part open-source textbooks, part ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
2y ago
“The days are long but the decades are short.” That’s one of my favorite quotes about the nature of time and life, written in 2015 by a then-30-year-old! Ten years ago in early August 2012, I wrote this post that presented the first public version of part of Active Calculus. I had just returned from Mathfest 2012 in Madison, WI, where I met Rob Beezer for the first time. A lot has happened in the decade since: August 2012, chapters 1-4 of Active Calculus Single Variable are made public (PDF) January 2013, chapters 5-8 of Active Calculus Single Variable are made public (PDF) August 2014, first ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
3y ago
For the Fall 2020 Pandemic Semester, I taught two sections of GVSU’s 5-credit MTH 124: Functions and Models, our calculus-prep course. This is the course for which I wrote Active Prelude to Calculus, and this was my first time getting to teach the course from my own text. I taught the course in an unusual pandemic-induced hybrid format that is likely familiar to readers. My classroom could hold up to 20 socially-distanced students wearing facemasks (plus me, also masked), but I had 30 students registered in each section of the course. Some students needed to self-isolate or quarantine periodic ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
3y ago
My GVSU colleague Mandy Calvillo has developed a fantastic resource for students and instructors using Active Prelude: a YouTube library of 122 (!) short videos that offer additional perspective and explanation on key ideas in the text. The videos are numbered and labeled in alignment with the sections of the text. This is a wonderful complement to the libraries for chapters 1-4 and 5-8 of Active Calculus (single variable), and something I know will benefit students and instructors alike ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
3y ago
Here is my just-in-time post for back to school, Fall 2020 Edition. Overall: The two main things to know about the Active Calculus textbooks (Active Prelude to Calculus (APC), Active Calculus Single Variable (ACS), and Active Calculus Multivariable (ACM)) are that (a) the main landing site (https://activecalculus.org/) is always the place to find the current versions of the texts themselves (in HTML, in PDF, and in print), while (b) the best location to receive updates and communicate with other instructors using the texts is https://groups.google.com/g/active-calculus-users. If you are an ins ..read more
OPENCALCULUS
by Matt Boelkins
4y ago
Erica Miller of VCU had a brilliant idea:  set up AC activities in Google sheets for remote teaching so that her students can work in breakout groups on a shared document.  Dave Kung learned about this in an MAA-sponsored session on teaching remotely and had the idea to crowdsource building the sheets; he posted on the Active Calculus Users Group and lots of people have pitched in. Currently there are templates for Activities 2.7.2 – 4.4.4 for the first four chapters.   Make sure you start with “Read Me First” in the first tab, and follow the instructions to either (a) contribute missing activ ..read more