08.10.10 18:27 Age: 4 yrs

Eric Schulz, M.S. Mathematics

By: Marleen Ramsey

Will be spending Winter and Spring Quarters providing professional development to community and four-year college math faculty across the U.S. on an innovative interactive electronic Calculus textbook.

Eric Schulz

Eric Schulz came to WWCC in 1989 as an instructor of math and currently serves as the chair of the mathematics division. He received his B.S. in Math from Seattle Pacific University in 1985 and his M.S. in Math from the University of Washington. In early 1992 Eric began working with Mathematica 2, a piece of software combining numerical and symbolic computation with full document creation capabilities. In May 2007 Mathematica 6 was released with support for unprecedented levels of interactivity and visualization. In the Fall of 2007, Eric set a personal goal to use Mathematica 6 to build one interactive visualization per lecture in order to demonstrate mathematical concepts with dynamic pictures to his students. By March 2008 he had created a large collection of visualizations and was invited to demonstrate these to math faculty at Spokane Falls Community College. Terry Orr, Pearson Publishing representative, was at the SFCC presentation and sent a report to Boston headquarters highlighting the work Eric was doing. The report was funneled to Bill Hoffman in Texas, who is the editor of a new calculus text being published by Pearson, and Bill asked one of authors of the text, Lyle Cochran, professor of math at Whitworth College, to visit Eric at WWCC to learn what Eric had been creating with the mathematical visualizations and doing with Mathematica. Lyle learned Eric’s real passion was using Mathematica not just to create interactive visualizations, but to design, create, and publish in electronic form a new generation textbook which moved beyond the established, static content, and page dominated publishing model. The other authors and Pearson quickly understood the vision and Eric was invited to join the calculus author team of Briggs, Cochran, and Gillett to create for the new calculus text a new generation electronic textbook. Two years, 4000 hours, and thousands of pages of text and code later, Eric is taking the his vision of an electronic textbook containing 650 interactive figures on the road across the United States to raise awareness of this new, cutting edge way of teaching mathematical concepts to college students.

With support from Pearson, Eric will spend winter and spring quarters 2011 off contract sharing the electronic textbook, interactive figures, teaching tips, and providing professional development on the educational capability of the interactive electronic text to math faculty at community and four-year colleges across the U.S. This cutting edge instructional capability may very well revolutionize and enhance the way students learn and develop calculus based mathematical knowledge. WWCC would like to recognize Eric’s ingenuity, hard work, and contributions to mathematical education here in Walla Walla as well as his efforts to strengthen teaching and learning math concepts in other colleges nationwide.