Entries by Simran Klair

Tackling Computer Science Growth

You likely saw the New York Times article on explosive Computer Science growth and difficulties departments are facing. Several of us professors grew tired of publishers underutilizing the web and instead pushing their textbooks (some with clunky web enhancements) — with big price increases to boot.

zyBooks wins competitive Phase I SBIR grant from U.S. Dept. of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Hadley Dreibelbis, Finn Partners Hadley.Dreibelbis@finnpartners.com 202-518-6496 ZYBOOKS USES U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GRANT TO FUND UNMET NEEDS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION zyBooks receives $200,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Award Los Gatos, California, June 6, 2018 – With a growing workforce demand for computer science skills, it is more necessary than […]

Coding in the biochemistry lab

Emma Ward has her eyes fixed on a career in life science research. The University of Illinois at Chicago student talked to numerous faculty while investigating graduate school options. As she gathered advice in laying out her path towards her goal, one problem stood out to her: there was a need for programming skills in […]

Artist discovers a passion for computer science

When thinking about a college major, John Pham was most interested in art and robotics. So, when it came time to declare a major at the University of California, Riverside, he felt most drawn to mechanical engineering, well aware of the challenges that lay ahead. John’s first experience in coding happened at Citrus Hack, the […]

How we help reduce student frustration

zyBook authors understand that content delivery can evolve as we better understand our students. One area of concern for us is student frustration. Certainly, we want students to wrestle with our content, but we don’t want them to struggle so much that they give up in frustration. Authors use our student activity report to help […]

Why we work at zyBooks, part 2

In a previous post, we shared some responses from our zyBooks colleagues to the question “Why do you work at zyBooks?” We went around the office (and the virtual office around the country) to capture some more of what drives our company.

Assignments…and a surprise!

From time to time, the product team at zyBooks loves to surprise customers (in a good way)! That’s why in this post, we are announcing not one but TWO new platform features available in your zyBooks right now. We’ve been talking about one for a few months now, but the other is most likely a pleasant surprise!

Thankful for you!

We’ve enjoyed a wonderful 2017 with all of you. In fact, this year zyBooks has impacted more students and instructors than ever! For 2018, we’re looking forward to serving even more customers and offering more products that increase student confidence and make instructors’ jobs more enjoyable. We’ll have some exciting news for you very soon regarding the latest platform updates, so please stay tuned!

Increasing competency in C

Even to the most seasoned instructor, when 450 students take their seats on the first day of class, the landscape can feel intimidating. Confident achievers sit down in the lecture hall beside curious learners and annoyed students. Some arrive with years of coding experience, whereas others are just starting out. How can an instructor possibly […]

Why we work at zyBooks

We spend a significant portion of our lives at work. For some, work is just a necessary evil to pay for life’s pleasures. For others, work is a passion and part of one’s complete lifestyle. In this post, staff at zyBooks respond to the question “Why do you work at zyBooks?”

A better way to promote active learning in a MATLAB course

One of the more challenging courses to teach in an engineering discipline is computer programming. Focusing only on algorithms and programming blocks leaves little time to build a connection to daily engineering problems. On the other hand, teaching based on problem solving does not allow for a deeper comprehension of algorithm development. “Finding the right […]

Discrete Math: out with the tome, in with the zyBook

Dr. Sandy Irani is a longtime Professor of Computer Science at UC Irvine. And like any good professor, she constantly looks for ways to improve the classroom experience. But over the years, Dr. Irani has kept running into the same issue; the classic textbook for her Discrete Mathematics course (considered the “standard” across universities) was […]

Using interactive material to foster sustained learning

I teach Discrete Mathematics at UC Irvine. Although many professors shy away from teaching lower division courses, I really enjoy reaching students early in their undergraduate careers. In addition to teaching a subject that I love, I also have a chance to impact students’ academic work habits based on my experiences. Looking back, while I […]

Market Wired: Elsevier and zyBooks Bring Computer Organization and Design Textbook Into the Digital Age

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and zyBooks, an online interactive textbook provider, today announced the launch of a web-based interactive version of the market-leading textbook Computer Organization and Design, Fifth Edition (David A. Patterson & John L. Hennessy, 2013). Read more ››

HIGHER EDUCATION: UCR behind next-gen ‘books’

This week, zyBooks, a Los Gatos-based company co-founded by UCR professor Frank Vahid, received a $4 million infusion of cash from a combination of sources. Bialla Venture Partners in Sausalito put down $2 million. The rest came from other investors and a grant from the National Science Foundation. Read more ››

zyBooks Secures $4 Million in Funding to Take College Textbooks into the Interactive Age

zyBooks, the leading provider of interactive digital learning products for the rapidly growing higher education STEM (Science, Technology Engineering & Math) market, announced a $4 million investment round led by Bialla Venture Partners, LLC. In conjunction with the funding, managing member of Bialla Venture Partners, David Uri, will join the company’s Board of Directors.

zyBooks Touts ‘Less Text, More Action’

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, animations are worth 5,000—at least, that’s one of the principles underlying interactive online textbook replacements zyBooks. Another principle: Students should interact and engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning as if they’re in dialogue with their education. Read more ››

Better Learning Online

To help students succeed in college STEM courses, UC Riverside computer scientist Frank Vahid created zyBooks — interactive STEM learning material native for the web.

zyBooks to Create Interactive Edition of Computer Organization “Gold Standard” Textbook

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has contracted with online interactive textbook provider, zyBooks, to create a web-based interactive edition of the market-leading Computer Organization and Design, Fifth Edition (David A. Patterson & John L. Hennessy, 2013) textbook Read the full press release

Success in learning and teaching

Wendy Hankes has taught high school classes for 24 years and is an expert at picking up new things fast. But when the principal of Big Spring High School in Pennsylvania asked her to teach a brand new Intro to Java course the next school year, even Ms. Hankes was overwhelmed. “I was going to […]

zyBooks Now at 200 Universities in Two Years, Challenging the “Free Materials” Movement as Well as Big Publishers

A company formed by professors and computing professionals to help college students succeed in STEM courses seems to have struck a chord, with over 200 universities and 60,000 student users in just two year. Yet unlike many recent efforts towards free materials such as Khan Academy, MOOCs, and OpenStax, this company unabashedly charges a subscription fee.

A Programmer With Many Hats – Working at zyBooks

My journey to zyBooks started with one person: my graduate advisor at UCR, Frank Vahid. Frank had been one of my undergraduate professors, and I had been particularly struck by his unique philosophy towards teaching. I knew I wanted to work with Frank during my graduate studies because of this, because I agreed — the […]

Feedback, keep it coming!

I’d like to start with a quick introduction. My name is Roman Lysecky. By day (and often nights and weekends) I’m an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. I am also a co-author of the Programming in C, Programming in Java, and Programming in C++ zyBooks, as well as […]

Textbooks Aren’t Written for Students

Having been involved in university teaching and publishing for 25 years, and authored three textbooks for two major publishers, I’ve learned this: Most textbooks aren’t written for students. They are written for instructors. That’s because instructors make the adoption decisions.  At zyBooks, from day one we insisted that zyBooks are to be written for students. That means: […]

Meet the zyBooks development team

Sometimes in the midst of all the great tech that surrounds us, it can be easy to forget that the cool websites, great apps, and can’t-live-without devices that you use daily are designed and built by teams of people. I’d like to introduce one of our core teams at zyBooks, our product development team. That’s me on […]

Zyante Awarded the Prestigious NSF SBIR Phase II Grant to Commercialize zyBooks Authoring Platform

Zyante, the company that produces zyBooks, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation. The award, in the Education Application category, is the result of a rigorously competitive application process and is indicative of the innovative work being done on zyBooks. Fewer than 10% of […]

The Web’s Real Power for Learning

Would you send your child to a piano instructor who teaches by playing in front of 50 students, testing and grading them every few weeks, and moving on? Probably not. Except for those with an initial knack or extra-strong commitment, most students would quit. Yet that’s how most colleges teach science, technology, engineering, and math […]

Let’s breathe interactive life into the common textbook

Students learn in a variety of ways — they listen, read, create, speak, share, engage, ask, get assessed, receive feedback, get mentored, and eventually maybe become a mentor themselves. Some need to read less and listen more, others need to “do” first then read. Some need to ask, others need to share, others need to […]

“Learning by Doing” with the Modern Textbook

I clearly recollect my Circuits and Systems class in a freshman class of 45 students, where every 3rd period was a time for the professor to walk amongst us as we solved problems and raised our hands for help.  Learning happens by doing, and we had an opportunity to do just that with the help of our professor. […]