Courtney Taylor, associate professor of mathematics at Anderson University, goes to work every day and flips on the light in his office to reveal shelves lined with books covering all types of algebra and mathematics. Now Taylor has authored his own book to add to his collection of resources.
Taylor recently released his first e-book, Abstract Algebra. It looks at generalities of algebra and the underlying structures without all of the operations that come with algebra. Taylor’s book can be downloaded for free on the web.
Taylor already has an established reputation as an author on About.com. Book Boon contacted him about writing Abstract Algebra. “I heard about it during the summer and turned it in by January 2013,” said Taylor. “All in all it took about six months from start to finish. It’s been live since April.”
The book can be easily downloaded by anyone with Internet access. Abstract Algebra is intended for students at the junior or senior level of college, and while Taylor stated that the book is more than enough material for a single class, it could also be used as just a supplementary book for a course.
There are few things in college that come at a small price, but because Taylor’s book is essentially free, it has been a hit with students so far. “Right now I’m teaching the course that the book is for,” said Taylor. “The students think it is great because they get a free e-book, go to Anderson University’s Center for Educational Technology, print it, bind it, and it is no more than six dollars.”
The fact that students can also learn from a professor who has written his own book in the field of mathematics also heightens the reverence. “It definitely makes me respect him because it shows that he is devoted to getting better at this craft,” said Zach Tsuleff, a senior mathematics major currently enrolled in one of Taylor’s classes. “When someone is passionate about their work outside of the classroom, it motivates you to do better on your end as well.”
Dylan Krueger added, “Knowing that Dr. Taylor is working outside of the classroom to better himself as a teacher and explore his subject makes me more comfortable in the classroom.”
Taylor, who is chair of the Department of Mathematics at AU, says he has no plans at the moment to write any more books. However, he is open to the idea of writing another book if the opportunity presents itself. “I have to see where all this goes from here,” Taylor said. “The book is still relatively new, but I would probably consider doing it again.”
There is no way to tell how many students around the world are learning from Taylor’s work, but it is clear that he is having an impact on the AU campus.
— Zach Wadley is a senior from Bourbonnais, Ill., majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations. Wadley is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.