We need cheaper textbooks

Originally shared by John Baez

We need cheaper textbooks

A tenured math professor at Cal State Fullerton tried to use a textbook that costs $76 instead of the $180 book his department was using.   He says the cheaper book is actually better.    But his department has threatened to fire him!  

Who wrote the more expensive book?  The chair of his department!

Read the whole story below.

The ironic thing is that Cal State Fullerton, and the California State University in general, is starting to use free, open-access textbooks for more and more courses.  These books are being developed by OpenStax College.  You can get them here:


As of April 2015 they had these books:

College Physics (released June 2012)

Introduction to Sociology (released June 2012)

Biology (released April 2013)

Concepts of Biology (released April 2013)

Anatomy and Physiology (released June 2013)

Introductory Statistics (November 2013)

Principles of Economics (March 2014)

Principles of Microeconomics (March 2014)

Principles of Macroeconomics (March 2014)

Pre-Calculus (October 2014)

Psychology (December 2014)

U.S. History (January 2015)

College Algebra (February 2015)

Algebra & Trigonometry (February 2015)

Chemistry (March 2015)

College Sociology-2e (April 2015)

Pre-Algebra (October 2015)

More are coming:

Calculus (forthcoming in 2016)

Astronomy (forthcoming in 2016)

Microbiology (forthcoming 2016-2017)

University Physics (forthcoming 2016-2017)

Elementary Algebra (forthcoming 2016-2017)

Intermediate Algebra (forthcoming 2016-2017)

American Government (forthcoming 2016-2017)

Basic College Math (forthcoming 2016-2017)

Let’s stop making students pay outrageous fees for their books!

There’s a lot of open-access, free courseware now:


Check it out!


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