Lake Land College’s Sarah Harley releases new math book!


The creator stands alongside her creation against a tree as the mid morning sun casts its light upon her, creating a contrast of lighting never before seen, nor deserved.​​ Photo via Paul Dorman.

Paul Dorman, Reporter

On June 29, Professor Sarah Harley, a mathematics instructor for Lake Land College (LLC), released an Open Education Resources (OER) Commons mathematics-based textbook for students, titled “Math in General Education”.


The need for an open source alternative stemmed from a lack of any real updates to current proprietary materials created by the various publishing companies. In addition, certain classes only used a small portion of the book, while the remainder often went unread and unused, which was inefficient for the often steep pricing.


Professor Harley sought to remedy this by coming up with the idea to compile a helpful book using exclusively open source materials and open sourcing the result is to use the book and benefit from it for free. The project began approximately two years prior, and the first edition was completed by the Spring of 2022.


Several others worked indirectly with Professor Harley to make the book a reality, including Librarian Sarah Hill and Online Support and Instructional Specialist Susan Nugent. Susan in particular is part of the OER Taskforce of the college, which is a group of LLC employees that actively encourage faculty to adopt more OER textbooks over traditional proprietary alternatives. It was launched in 2017 by Chris Kramer, a former bookstore manager, in addition to both Hill and Nugent.


The book itself features common mathematical tools for any individual to use to calculate a variety of important and highly useful results in the real world, including formulas for taxes, interest, loans, and annuities. In addition, it discusses procedures for statistics and the importance of bias in taking a sample of a population, as well as various methods to take samples and build data while keeping this bias in mind.


The book is available to anyone and everyone and can be accessed on the OER Commons website at the following link:

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