The decision to write a new textbook from scratch is not one to be taken lightly. The author becomes a saint to some and a sinner to others—and the feedback from the “others” is felt more acutely than the feedback from the “some”! Ultimately, the decision to write a new book comes from the deep feeling that an author can make a positive contribution to the field, and that it is ultimately time well invested.
It also helps that there are people supporting the author both personally and professionally. The first person to thank must be Jennifer Welchans of Flat World Knowledge. I have known Jen for years; indeed, she was instrumental in getting me to write my first academic book, a math review book that is still available through another publisher. We reconnected recently, and I learned that she was working for a new publisher with some interesting publishing ideas. With her urging, the editorial director and I got together, first by phone and then in person, to discuss this project. With all the enthusiasm and ideas that Flat World Knowledge brought to the table, it was difficult not to sign on and write this book. So thanks, Jen—again. Hopefully this won’t be the last book we do together.
Thanks also to Michael Boezi, editorial director at Flat World Knowledge, for his enthusiastic support. Jenn Yee, project manager at Flat World Knowledge, did a great job of managing the project and all of its pieces—manuscript, answers to exercises, art, reviews, revisions, and all the other things required to put a project like this together. Vanessa Gennarelli did a great job of filling in when necessary (although Jenn should know better than to take a vacation during a project). Kudos to the technology team at Flat World Knowledge, who had the ultimate job of getting this book out: Brian Brennan, David Link, Christopher Loncar, Jessica Carey, Jon Gottfried, Jon Williams, Katie Damo, Keith Avery, Mike Shnaydman, Po Ki Chui, and Ryan Lowe. I would also like to thank the production team at Scribe Inc., including Stacy Claxton, Chrissy Chimi, Melissa Tarrao, and Kevin McDermott. This book would not exist without any of these people.
Thanks to Mary Grodek and Bill Reiter of Cleveland State University’s Marketing Department for assistance in obtaining a needed photograph.
A project like this benefits from the expertise of external reviewers. I would like to thank the following people for their very thoughtful evaluation of the manuscript at several stages:
- Sam Abbas, Palomar College
- Bal Barot, Lake Michigan College
- Sherri Borowicz, Dakota College of Bottineau
- Ken Capps, Central Florida Community College
- Troy Cayou, Coconino Community College
- Robert Clark, Lourdes College
- Daniel Cole, Central Piedmont Community College
- Jo Conceicao, Metropolitan Community College
- Bernadette Corbett, Metropolitan Community College
- James Fisher, Imperial Valley College
- Julie Klare, Gwinnett Technical College
- Karen Marshall, Bridgewater College
- Tchao Podona, Miami-Dade College
- Kenneth Rodriguez, California State University–Dominguez Hills
- Mary Sohn, Florida Institute of Technology
- Angie Spencer, Greenville Technical College
- Charles Taylor, Pomona College
- Susan T. Thomas, The University of Texas at San Antonio
- Linda Waldman, Cerritos College
Thanks especially to ANSR Source, who performed accuracy checks on various parts of the text. Should any inaccuracies remain, they are the responsibility of the author. I hope that readers will let me know if they find any; one of the beauties of the Flat World process is the ability to update the textbook quickly, so that it will be an even better book tomorrow.
I am looking forward to seeing how the Flat World Knowledge model works with this book, and I thank all the adopters and users in advance for their help in making it a better text.
David W. Ball