The Baylor Lariat recently interviewed me and published an article over this Open Text website. Here is a link to the article (published 9/16/2014).
The texts on this site have been developed over the years as I have taught the various courses. I have been at Baylor for over 30 years; I was a student of Julian Schwinger at UCLA. Many of his methods, techniques and approaches have been used as organizing and inspirational principles in my texts. There are presently 4 texts (1 graduate, 3 undergraduate) in various stages of completion. Most of these texts started as Microsoft Word 5.1 documents and were composed on a Macintosh computer.
There are still difficulties converting this format into readable versions, especially for PCs. Production values of figures and tables will not be as high as for commercial texts and text itself may be more economical to keep printing costs down. This is a designed trade-off, not a compromise. Emphasis will be on up-to-date high-quality material.
Unlike open source software, point is not to produce a single unified set of materials, but to make a forum for the presentation of various teaching points of view. Individuality is important in teaching. Also, perhaps unlike an open source program, individual copyrighting of the material will be crucial to insure appropriate use and acknowledgement. Will be easy to correct misconceptions, mistakes and typos since all will be online to a world-wide audience.
- Cannot accept anything and everything that is submitted.
- There will have to be a reviewing/feedback process of some sort.
- Very early stages of development at present.
- Formats and policies not worked out yet.
- Site can not be used to advertise a text and then withdraw it.
- Only authors dedicated to OPEN TEXT are desired.
The director of the Open-Text website is Dr. Walter Wilcox (Walter_Wilcox@baylor.edu) of the Baylor University Physics Department. For more information on his research and teaching please see the Physics Department website and his personal homepage.