New answers tagged

8

That really depends on where you are. It seems that (albeit implicitly assumed) US, or Anglosaxon in general, consensus of the other asnwers is that a professors keeps their books. However here, if university pays for a book through a grant or through department funds, the book gets registered into the library register and is marked appropriately with the ...


5

I have been in similar situations three times when moving between universities and when retiring, in Norway. The tradition was, and is, that the books are kept by the professor. My advice is that you honestly ask the dean what would be best to do with the books for the college. Chances are that the college is at most interested in very few of your books for ...


37

There's the "legal ownership" element, but given the situation you've described, I'd attach even more importance to the moral/ethical element: Who is most likely to use these books? I suspect if your department is being shut down, no one will care about the legal ownership specifics unless you provoke them to. So you could consider triaging: ...


10

First, figure out which books you want to keep at all. Then ask the responsible person what you should do with the books you don't want to keep. That answer may reveal the answer to your actual question in your particular case. I think the convention is that books bought by the university remain unless given to you, which a dean or VP might do. Those you ...


0

Anyone can write a book/textbook. If you feel you have something to offer that doesn't exist, or that you feel you can improve on something, then you should definitely give it a shot. As others have said, the publishing houses may ignore you. Self-publishing is a good way to go, just do your research and don't give up the rights to your creative property. My ...


1

I think if you look at materials dedicated to specific technologies that are widely used, there are many examples of popular self-published books. I know there are many programming languages that have popular self-published books that likely are used as official course textbooks. Off the top of my head, The Rust Programming Language is a good example of this....


0

Measure Theory by D. H. Fremlin vol.s 1 to 4 and 5 Part I & II. This is both a popular and controversial book in 'measure theory' (mathematics). It is popular because it encompasses the theory to an extraordinary level of both generality and detail (the six volumes amount to over 2500 pages I believe). Together with Measure Theory by V. I. Bogachev, ...


1

Elementary Calculus: An Infinitesimal Approach, by Jerome Keisler From the download page set by the author: This is a calculus textbook at the college Freshman level based on Abraham Robinson's infinitesimals, which date from 1960. Robinson's modern infinitesimal approach puts the intuitive ideas of the founders of the calculus on a mathematically sound ...


0

[This seems to be a list-style question/answer so here's one to add to the list.] Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms: A Unified Approach by Hubbard and Hubbard - now in its 5th edition - is from Matrix Editions (along with other math books), which is their own publishing house. (And they do a very good job as publishers too: The books ...


1

The many books of the pretty famous MIT professor Gilbert Strang on linear algebra and other aspects of mathematics are self-published. Just he came up with a fancy quite familiar sounding publisher name so many didn't notice it was self published. http://www.wellesleycambridge.com/


2

Anyone can Write a textbook. Most professors that publish textbooks use the chapters as lecture notes for several years so that their students end up proof reading the textbook for free. I have done this as a student, I'm absolutely OK with it as the student gets a very well prepared set of lecture notes and a very very well prepared class out of it. If you ...


2

I keep on recommending Forecasting: Principles and Practice (3rd ed.) by Athanasopoulos & Hyndman, which is available for free online. The 2nd edition also has a paper version. Both are published through OTexts.com, which was pretty much founded by Rob Hyndman for this express purpose. As to how "popular" it is... it's definitely one of the ...


1

Turbulence Modeling for CFD by David C. Wilcox. The publisher is called D C W Industries, so I am pretty sure he is self-publishing his book. It is one of a handful of the leading books regarding this topics (mathematical engenieering).


0

I think this may be sort of an oddball answer, but the very popular (Google Scholar lists more than 7,000 citations at time of writing) ion-material interactions software SRIM has an associated textbook that was/continues to be self-published through LuLu. It's not clear to me how popular the textbook itself is, but it is occasionally cited directly, as in ...


1

I'm pretty sure Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces is self-published, and it's a widely used operating systems textbook from what I understand. https://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~remzi/OSTEP/


-1

I'm not aware of any popular self-published books. However, I want to point out several alternatives that you can consider. First, even if you publish with a "real" publisher, often you can share a manuscript of the book online. In a lot of ways, this seems like the best of both worlds. For example, "Reinforcement Learning: an introduction&...


10

Michael Spivak's "Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry" was published through the Publish-or-Perish Press he founded, probably for just that reason.


5

David MacKay's quite famous textbooks Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms and Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air were (and are) made available to read free of charge on his research group website in parallel with being published in hard-copy by for-profit publishers. Genick Bar-Meir has written a couple of decent thermofluids textbooks ...


9

Not sure if this counts strictly as a textbook but Paul's Online Notes by Paul Dawkins on pre-algebra and calculus appears quite high in search engine results and I have used them as refreshers for calculus concepts, so I guess they are quite popular.


2

If you are well established as an expert in your field, the major academic publishing houses will come and find you. (You may have posted lecture notes online that they like.) Otherwise, you may be in for a hard time as explained in detail by the other answers here. Since hardly any textbook makes its author a lot of money, it is best done if your day job is ...


1

One of the services that a publisher provides (along with editing, design, printing, distribution, legal, etc) is marketing. They have a sales force that goes out to bookshops. They send out review copies and written blurb to magazines and newspapers. They advertise to the target audience. THAT is what gets books sold. 'Word of mouth' will only get you so ...


3

For all popular subjects, there are already popular textbooks that are good enough. I do not believe it is possible to make an improvement large enough to convince people to switch to your book. If you want to create a successful textbook, you need: To write something that is not worse than what is already popular. To be cheaper than what is already ...


5

I completely agree with the other answers here which emphasize the big gap between writing a textbook and having it published by a publisher (and then the further goal of expecting people to buy it). If you do not want to go the traditional publisher route, you can always self-publish as a free online textbook. It is very possible that a free online textbook ...


42

Unfortunately, yes. Anyone can write a text-book. Even people who absolutely should not. The attached image is from a book I found at my local library. 'New Method in Mathematic'. Yes, this is the title, and yes, it is misspelled. Every page in the book looks more or less like this: I have no idea what the new method is either, and I did really try to ...


10

Yes, you can write a textbook, even without a PhD. But the first problem is that you need to make a connection with a publisher. If you send a manuscript to a reputable publisher they will most likely return it unopened to avoid future claims if they read it, reject it, and then publish something in the future. But a common way to connect is to attend some ...


12

Anyone can write a textbook if they want to. No publisher would publish it (and nobody would buy it), but you can still self-publish, put the book on Amazon, and say you've written a textbook. On the other hand if you want to get a publisher to publish it, then you'll need to demonstrate you're an expert in the field. This is necessary because otherwise the ...


84

Anyone with or without a PhD can write a text book. Yet independently of how well-known the author is, text books are not particularly well-selling items, since the audience is very narrow. And even if they sell well, you will certainly not get any significant money from the sales. If you want to write a text book for teaching purposes and because you think ...


5

Your clock is running faster than their clock. They have a lot of people to coordinate with and a lot of editorial work, I suspect. This isn't the only publication they are dealing with, most likely. And if everyone is sending them mail every few days it just bogs down the process even further. It may even be a good thing that it is taking time. A predatory ...


0

In my opinion, lecture is not the proper vehicle for providing direct answers or application of formulae – the kinds of things that you'd find in the textbook, and thus a "regurgitation"; rather, this would best be achieved at some recitation or office hours with TAs (who are often extremely helpful in helping students understand course content!). ...


2

A perspective of an ex-student, then ex-lecturer and now a parent. I usually taught math/physics the way I ended up understanding it. I was not a particularly brilliant student so I had to think a lot when learning, trying to keep everything more or less in a coherent state. This meant simplifications, analogies - and then understanding why the ...


3

I know it sounds confrontional, but did you ever consider the notion that this class might be too advanced for you? Not everybody is able to deal with a grad course, nor should everyone be. The fact that you already struggled to deal with the undergrad courses and could only cope by extensive preparation and a very predictable class, might be a good sign ...


10

The typical professor will possess many bits of insight into their field that cannot be found in any textbook. So you are simply asking for the wrong thing. Asking for a professor who teaches only what’s in the textbook makes sense if your goal is to feel like you’ve mastered the topic of the course. If your goal is to actually master the topic at a level a ...


2

Depending on the technology available in your classroom, a couple of resources that might be available are video recordings of the lecture (so you can go back over the lecture later to make sense of things that weren't immediately clear) or screen capture recordings of things that the lecturer wrote on a stylus and projected on a screen during the lecture (...


14

Your problem isn't that the professor doesn't follow the text. Your real problem (as clarified in your edit) is an unusual aspect of your question that nobody has addressed. It is your need to "prepare for class" on your own. In all the courses I can recall, the professor either assigns a specific reading before class, or not. Then the professor ...


9

I certainly grant in advance that tastes vary... Based on my own student days' attendance in various lectures, and on my own preferences for teaching, I try to think in terms of "added value" that my lectures/classes may provide, beyond any text. Yes, I do also try to provide my own notes that fill in details that might be tedious to discuss "...


22

I'd like to offer my perspective as a second year mathematics graduate student. I have found that the courses I learnt the most from were those in which the instructor did not follow the prescribed textbook(s) very closely. In such courses, the instructor would usually spend a large portion of the lecture hours drawing connections and nudging our intuition ...


5

I'll guess that this is fairly common, actually. Some things you can do: Ask a lot of questions during lecture if possible. In a class of 20 or so, it is possible. In particular, ask at the very end of a lecture what will be the topic of the next lecture. This might give you a heads up to look in the text book. But, and this is actually independent of the ...


39

I am a retired lecturer, so here is my perspective. As an undergrad, you were part of a sausage machine, taking kids from school and running them through a training process where the competent ones could earn a Degree that said they were competent to ply a given "trade". Grad School is different. In many Unis it is a lead in to research, or if it's ...


9

If the problem is a lack of repetition of the material, because your lecturers are not repeating the contents of a book verbatim, then you could consider repeating the material by yourself before attending the lecture. Also consider different ways of learning the material; doing exercises, playing around with examples, and playing around with the conditions ...


110

If your undergraduate lectures were perfectly predictable, following the book exactly, and you showed up perfectly prepared to each one, then they were actually completely useless. You could have just stayed home and read the book yourself! At the graduate level, the best practice is to ask the professor for good references, both at the start of the course, ...


2

This sounds worse than unethical, but depending. Required/Optional are official names for textbooks selected by the instructor. This may not be the current instructor, but it will be someone involved with the course. The bookstore does not get to just throw their own recommendations into the Optional list. Unilaterally adding something as Optional is in the ...


0

There are a few different questions here. Are you "allowed" to talk about the work at conferences? I'd say "of course, it's not a secret". Possibly using your literal book chapter(s) as overheads would be inappropriate. In any case, the point in the previous paragraph is that you are not prohibited from "ever mentioning again" ...


4

Without more information, it is hard to make any ethical judgement. The instructor might have a say in what appears, for example. But the more serious issue I see is that, if such things are published and available to some students, even just the ones that are more diligent in taking shortcuts than in learning, then it might actually be essential to make ...


21

It’s helpful to approach the question starting from the following general guiding principle: It is not acceptable for a university bookstore to engage in misleading marketing practices of any sort. If the way the subscription link is presented creates an appearance of endorsement by an instructor, and such endorsement was not given, then the marketing is ...


0

It seems that if they are really homework helps (designed based on the instructor or the course homework) and it is without the consent of instructor, or without the aim of the students' knowledge improvement (consciously), it seems unethical. But in other cases, even sometimes the book writers write the solution or a guidebook for their book exercises. ...


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