The Exponential and Logistic Functions

We just published a new video on how to construct the exponential growth and logistic functions using calculus. If this is of interest to you, check it out!

New Video Series on Building Scalable Web Applications

We just launched a new video series on YouTube, “Building Scalable Web Applications.” This series is based on the book Building Scalable PHP Web Applications Using the Cloud. While the examples are written in PHP for clarity, the ideas covered work in any programming environment you are in, whether it is Ruby on Rails, Django, ASP.NET, or anything else.

The first video in the series covers an overview of what cloud computing is, and what sorts of problems it tries to solve.

You can buy the book at:

Building Scalable PHP Web Applications Using the Cloud

I’m happy to announce the latest book by Jonathan Bartlett – Building Scalable PHP Web Applications Using the Cloud. This book is published in conjunction with Apress.

The book is an intro-level tutorial to help programmers get their arms (and code) around cloud technology from a variety of vendors.

The book walks the user through a variety of tasks in cloud computing from the basics, such as how to get your first cloud computer up and running, to the advanced, such as how to architect your system and application to maximize scalability.  The book gives a tour through setting up various components.  It has chapters on system administration, creating cloned systems, configuring a local caching system, database master/replica setups, infinitely scalable disk storage, security, and writing the PHP code to connect to these different services.

Additionally, the book contains tutorials on several popular cloud vendors, including Linode, Amazon Web Services, and the Google Cloud Platform.  Each section gives step-by-step instructions on how to get up and running, as well as discussions of alternate configurations and their pros and cons.  

While the book uses PHP as the implementation language, the concepts in the book apply to nearly any programming language you would use.  The book is available in both print and digital formats, and can be purchased either from the publisher or from Amazon.

New Chemistry Video Series

We have the first two videos up for our chemistry video series. Check them out below! You can view the whole chemistry playlist here. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Refactoring Introductory Calculus, Part 1

Our latest video is Refactoring Introductory Calculus, Part 1.

In computer programming, the word “refactoring” refers to taking a process apart and putting it back together with the components slightly shifted in order to make the result both easier to understand and use while simultaneously being more powerful. This is the first episode in a series about rethinking the way that calculus is taught and communicated in order to do the same thing – simplify the foundations while increasing the power of those foundations.

In this part, we will talk about how focusing on differentials instead of derivatives makes the process of calculus easier, giving a unified set of rules for single-variable, implicit, and multivariable derivatives. Additionally, the process given here removes the need for the chain rule, which simply follows naturally from the process rather than having to be some special rule.

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t allow arbitrary links, so we are linking all of the YouTube cards in the video to this post. Here are the links to the items discussed in the YouTube cards:

  1. Simplifying and Refactoring Introductory Calculus. This is the paper that serves as the basis for the video series.
  2. To see how this works with higher-order differentials, see the paper Extending the Algebraic Manipulation of Differentials.

Two New Books from Jerry Bergman

Bartlett Publishing is proud to release two new books from author Jerry Bergman. Bergman is a prolific author and his previous book, Fossil Forensics, is one of out bestselling titles.

This fall, Bergman release two new titles – Poor Design: An Invalid Argument Against Intelligent Design and Useless Organs: The Rise and Fall of a Central Claim of Evolution. These two books are a stunning combination of physiology, philosophy, and natural history. They knit together the details of the systems of the human body together with the understanding of what they mean in the context of modern claims about the nature of humanity.

Bergman skillfully shows that the things that we used to think were junk (or poorly designed) were, to a large extent, a testimony to our ignorance about those systems rather than evidence of their poor design or lack of function. Biology is best understood in the context of well-organized systems, and these books show why this conception is better than the alternatives.

These are perfect books to read on their own. However, they should also be considered for use as supplemental material for homeschool biology and anatomy courses.

YouTube Channel – BPLearningTV

We are getting serious about our YouTube channel, We just uploaded the first video in a long time on the Hyperreal Number System! Check out the video, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel.

Introducing Calculus from the Ground Up

BP Learning is pleased to announce our most recent title – Calculus from the Ground Up!

This innovative approach to calculus can be used within both classroom and self-learning environments, and in both high school and early college. The book retails for $34.95.

Book Description

Calculus is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. With calculus, you can analyze the infinitely large, the infinitely small, and everything in-between. Calculus gives you the tools to develop your own mathematics, your own formulas, and, most importantly, your own imagination. Calculus is not just a subject. It is an invitation to think differently about the way that the world works.

Calculus has a reputation for being a dry, dreary, difficult subject. However, the problem generally lies with tedious, lifeless books that present calculus with all the vigor of a wilted salad. Calculus was not discovered as a series of dull proofs about the real number line. It was discovered by curious people who took the time to look at the world in a new way.

Calculus from the Ground Up invites readers to not just read about mathematics but to become active participants–making numbers and symbols the servants of their minds as they grow their imaginations in ways they didn’t think possible.

Calculus from the Ground Up isn’t your typical mathematics book. It is a guidebook for students to learn not only the bare subject of calculus, but also to discover how its artistry impacts other areas of life. Calculus from the Ground Up includes sections on how to solve impossible problems, how to break problems into manageable sizes, how to develop new mathematical formulas, and even how to live a more ethical life, all through lessons gained from calculus.

A Solution Guide ($24.95) is also available.

The Need for a New Computer Algebra Software System

I have been intrigued and amazed by computer algebra systems since I first did simple algebra problems on an Apple II (I don’t remember the name of the program, though). The set of systems that we have available is quite amazing, yet, I think that we are missing some important tools.
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Tulsa Homeschool Expo – How and Why to Teach Computer Programming

This weekend was the Tulsa Homeschool Expo – thanks to everyone who came out to see us! We had a great time, and got to share with homeschooling parents our vision for how they can better raise the next generation of adults.
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