zyBooks was started in 2012 by Smita Bakshi and Frank Vahid. Frank is a Computer Science and Engineering professor at the University of California, Riverside, and Smita, prior to her 10 years in the high-tech industry, was a UC Davis Electrical Computer Engineering professor. We started zyBooks to help college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students graduate.
More than half of STEM students don’t achieve their STEM degrees, and many students are tripped up by their early STEM classes. Part of the problem is the huge mismatch between students and traditional (and increasingly expensive and bloated) textbooks, forcing instructors to teach with one hand tied behind their back. Meanwhile, the real power of the web for learning—interactivity—has barely been tapped.
So, we started creating zyBooks—STEM material native for the web—using “less text, more action.” zyBooks have minimal text, and instead consist of question sets, animations, interactive tools, and embedded homework, so students can learn by doing, which is long known to be more effective. We developed a platform to author, deliver, and continually support and improve zyBooks, vowing to always do right by the student and instructor. We keep prices as low as possible, provide the best support we can, and make the zyBook platform easy to use for students and instructors. Starting with just a handful of universities in 2012, our computer science, engineering, math, and statistics zyBooks have been used by over 1.1 million students at more than 1,200 academic institutions.
zyBooks are collaboratively authored by talented teams of professors, content developers and software engineers. Click here to learn more about our authors.
Smita was a professor at UC Davis and also worked for a number of Silicon Valley high-tech companies across software development, product management, business development and strategy, before co-founding zyBooks and becoming its CEO in 2012.
A UC Riverside CSE professor, Frank is an active researcher, and has also written several popular textbooks with major publishers and received many teaching awards, before co-founding zyBooks in 2012. He produced zyBooks’ first materials and currently co-leads all authoring.