AIM Textbook Workshop – Day 3

We lost Oscar Levin this morning – his wife went into labor four weeks early!  We wish his family the best,  Oscar was a huge help with participants getting started on Windows machines, and was the first to suggest to me structuring an example with both a statement and a solution.

Introductions on Day One

Introductions on Day One

Settling in to the routine.  The morning was a few announcements, followed by a nice presentation Tom Judson made about graphics.  There were general considerations, and some MBX-specific items, which were all presented clearly and thoroughly.  After break, Alex Jordan gave another nice presentation on incorporating WeBWorK problems into a book, and all the various permutations and variations on that theme (an OpenOregon-funded project Alex and I worked on last summer).  There were several impromptu rounds of applause for some of the techcnical achievements.  Robin Cruz and Lynda Danielson (University of Idaho) have the most “webwork-heavy” project and they seemed to like what they saw.

After lunch, David Farmer did the infamous two-round voting procedure for breakout sessions.  Not by design, but I ended up facilitating a group Matt Boelkins proposed to initiate the structure of a book AND use git in a group to accomplish this.  I had to think hard and quickly to design an effective and instructive experiment.

  1. Matt built a new repository on GitHub.
  2. Dave Rosoff cloned it locally.  Then he made a master file from the sample-book, pointing to seven new, empty chapter files, one for each person in the room.  He pushed these changes to GitHub, and then everybody cloned this two-commit repository.
  3. All seven wrote a mock MBX chapterlocally , and commited their changes on a branch of their local repository.  Now the fun began.  How to share the seven new chapters?
  4. Matt did a merge of his branch onto master.  Easy, since he was first.  He pushed to master on GitHub.
  5. Now everybody pulled Matt’s changes into master on their local copy.  Now everybody (but Matt) had their chapter in a commit branching one step behind master.
  6. So Greg Hartmann went next and rebased his chapter branch onto the tip of his master (no conflict since everybody was in different files) and then merged into master.  He pushed his chapter to GitHub and everybody (including Matt) pulled.  Now Matt and Greg were whole, but everybody else had their chapter in a commit branching two steps behind master.
  7. Just for conceptual purposes, I had Dave skip the rebase and merge his chapter branch into master, creating a new merge commit, and he pushed that all to GitHub.  Everybody pulled Dave’s chapter.  Michelle Manes was next, then maybe Volcker Ecke and Dimple C.

End goal was all seven chapters, available to process into HTML and LaTeX.  I saw Matt successfully build HTML of five chapters that were available at that point.

Git Help Session

Git Help Session

That consumed the afternoon.  For dinner a small group of us found an Ethiopian restaurant on San Carlos Avenue (the Lunch Box), that was so authentic that we were a bit of an oddity.  I almost (almost) felt like I was back in Africa.

Observation of the day:  Jen Nordstom’s “Introduction to Game Theory” text went up as got repository yesterday afternoon.  Today, if I speak “introductory textbook game theory liberal arts” to Google on my pocket computer, then Jen’s repository is the second result.  Amazing.

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