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“Python for Informatics” Open Textbook Remixed in 11 Days

Timothy Vollmer, February 5th, 2010

Image: dr-chuckCC BY

Chuck Severance, clinical professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, recently published a new textbook in 11 days because he was able to remix an existing textbook. The book, Python for Informatics: Exploring Information, is currently being used in his winter semester Networked Computing course. The textbook is based on the openly licensed book Think Python: How to Think like a Computer Scientist by Allen B. Downey. Students are able to take advantage of the University Library’s Espresso Book Machine to print on-demand copies for approximately $10. Python for Informatics is available under a CC BY-SA license.

Severance explains, “the book is a cool example of a situation where I’ve finally got to the ‘remixing’ bit of the Open promise.” The first 10 chapters are done and eight more are planned for completion by April 2010. Read more of Chuck’s thoughts about remixing an open book.

Creating this open textbook was a part of a larger effort by Chuck to support his course with openly licensed  content, and current versions of lecture slides and videos are published via the PythonLearn website.  In a past iteration of the course, Chuck went through the dScribe process developed by Open.Michigan to create an OER version of SI 502, available under a CC BY license.

One Response to ““Python for Informatics” Open Textbook Remixed in 11 Days”

  1. Allen Downey says:

    Timothy, thanks for writing about this project. I think this is a perfect example of an open-content model. I hope it inspires more people to make course material available under free licenses, and to re-mix existing materials for new purposes.