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Whitworth professor of mathematics' new interactive calculus textbook used by esteemed universities nationwide

January 21, 2011
Cochran's new book also has won a 2011 Textbook Excellence Award

Whitworth Professor of Mathematics Lyle Cochran is a coauthor of a new calculus textbook that is already being used in 140 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, including Yale University, University of Connecticut, and Oregon State University. Released this fall by Pearson, the textbook is available in two versions, Calculus and Calculus: Early Transcendentals.

The book also recently won a 2011 Textbook Excellence (Texty) Award, which recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. Calculus was one of five textbooks that received a Texty Award in the College division. The awards will be presented during an awards luncheon at the 24th Annual TAA Conference, to be held June 25 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The textbooks are also available in eBook form. Each eBook contains 650 interactive, animated figures that readers can manipulate to better visualize the concepts of calculus. Cochran believes it is the first fully interactive calculus textbook.

"We wanted an interactive eBook because calculus involves the study of how quantities change over time and animated figures do a better job than static figures of showing this dynamic process," Cochran says. "Figures are important to understanding calculus, and the animated figures help students grasp the challenging topics covered in calculus. The animations are also helpful teaching tools for instructors."

Cochran and Bernard Gillett, a math instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, are coauthors of the textbook. William L. Briggs, a math professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, is the lead author. Eric Shultz, a math instructor at Walla Walla Community College, created the eBook version and all of the interactive figures.

"This project, which took seven years to complete, was truly a team effort," says Cochran. "Everyone was important for the successful completion of this project."

More information about the book is available at To see a YouTube overview of the book, visit

Cochran, who joined the Whitworth faculty in 1995, holds BS degrees in mathematics and mathematics education from Oregon State University and a master's and Ph.D. in mathematics from Washington State University. In 2010, he received Whitworth's Academic Challenge Award.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Lyle Cochran, professor of mathematics, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4877, or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703, or