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Hi, fellow Wikibookians!

I'm a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University (MSU). My laboratory uses computational and experimental methods to study protein structure, and to investigate the molecular forces and events involved in folding and self-assembly.

I'm a relative newbie to Wikibooks, so I hope you'll forgive any accidental lapses on my part. I'm doing my best. I've collected a lot of material for textbooks over the years, which I'll gradually begin to add. Having several young nieces, nephew and a godchild, I'm also interested in producing books for Wikijunior.

My e-mail address is given on my MSU faculty webpage linked above. It's basically the same as my user name here. Anyone who wishes to verify that I am a professor is cordially invited to send me an e-mail, to which I'll be happy to reply. Since professors are notorious for missing e-mails, please make sure that your subject heading has something attention-grabbing in it. Thanks!

Thoughts for textbooks[edit | edit source]

In general, I like the idea of producing sets of graded books, with each one building on its predecessors. However, I also like the idea of keeping materials modular, so that different people can mix and match modules to make their own textbooks. In the latter case, however, it would be convenient if we could mark the modules with the preliminary knowledge needed.

  • General physics
  • Electronics
  • Geometry
  • Protein science
  • Structural biology
  • Mathematical methods
  • Bioinformatics
  • Planetary motion
  • Classical mechanics
  • Learning the stars
  • Craft books
  • Naval architecture
  • Music composition
  • New Testament Greek
  • Medieval Latin
  • Rules of games
  • Localized collections of rocks, plants, animals, etc.
    • Have users enter their position and generate the book on the fly from the nearby modules.

Reading level[edit | edit source]

Think about how to score books for reading level using the word-frequency ranking of Zipf's law. Also think about ways of using a controlled vocabulary, how to list it, and how to flag violations.

Common types of pre-schooler books[edit | edit source]

Type Wikibook category Description Ideas
Abecedaries Template:Cl Illustrations of the alphabet Greek gods, parts of the body, etc. Make templates for easy production, consistent but also customizable.
Syllabaries none Illustrations of syllables in English words make massively rhyming couplets similar to "cat in the hat"; organize by frequency of occurrence
Word-picture books none illustrations to introduce beginning readers (not necessarily children!) to whole words; similar to Richard Scary books
Counting books none Illustrations of the numbers 1-10, 1-20 or other small subsets; place in cool symmetric patterns
Simple arithmetic books none single digit arithmetic, then up to 20; remember "casting out of nines" trick, and of 99's for addition; get that going early
Color books none Illustrations of the basic colors
Parts of the body none
Telling time none
Clothing none
Occupations and daily life none
Spatial stuff: shapes, sizes, orientations and distance relations none
Opposites, change and motion none
Vocabulary books none

Cool things for kids: farms and farm animals, faraway countries and peoples, dinosaurs, space, stories and myths,...

Remember that many adults would benefit from books to help them learn to read.

Dissemination[edit | edit source]

Random thoughts[edit | edit source]

Dealing with subpages, navigation and searching
  • Special:PrefixIndex (and possibly DPL) can be used to list all the modules in a book. Write a template to list those modules and perhaps their categories; there's no need to have a separate category. That spares us the confusion between books and true categories. Write an extension to the Media software to automatically generate a table of contents template from those modules. Need to work out new method for Subjects and to avoid clutter in Categories; perhaps include an option on Category pages to suppress the display of subpages.
Textbook ideas
  • Make similarity (same angles) one of the first topics in a beginning geometrical course; exploit symmetries as well. These are more intuitive to beginners. It's important that people get some exposure to actual geometry before launching into Euclid and proofs. Those serve the justify why the methods work. Then move to spherical geometry and see what fails. Also consider using examples from architecture, building construction and ship lofting.