My soon-to-defend Ph.D. student, Theresa Migler, pointed me to the Open Textbook Initiative by AIM, with the question as to whether a similar resource exists or is in development for computer science. I am now forwarding that question to you.
The Open Textbook Initiative looks awesome. It is more than just a collection of textbooks that are available freely. The textbooks are vetted against a set of reasonable criteria, including (but not limited to):
- able to serve as the primary text in a mainstream mathematics course at the undergraduate level in U.S. colleges and universities
- have exercises
- be class-tested and have been used (and be in current use) by faculty other than the author
I think this is a great direction to go in. Peer-reviewed and peer-tested classroom resources, available freely to all. These are exactly the types of resources I limit myself to for my courses (although, it isn’t a limit of quality). Currently I use:
- Erickson’s not-a-book algorithms notes
- The Design of Approximation Algorithms by Williamson & Shmoys
- Algorithms by Dasgupta, Papadimitriou & Vazirani
All of these, I think, meet the OTI criteria. Do we have a similar group that vets open textbooks in CS?