On-Line Platform Computer Science Textbook Published by Dr. Roy Turner

Computer Science faculty member Roy Turner has published a textbook begun some time ago by him and his late wife, Elise Turner (who was a faculty member and chair of the Department of Computer Science).  The book, Foundations of Computer Science (R.M. Turner & E.H. Turner, Top Hat Monacle, 2019), was written for and is used in the School’s COS 140 course of the same name.

COS 140 is an innovative approach to introducing first-year computer science students and others to the field, providing both an overview of the breadth of the field as well as in-depth (junior- or senior-level) coverage of interesting and/or important topics to give students a sense of what computer science is beyond programming.  The course was created to address recruitment and retention issues, especially those facing underrepresented groups in computer science, and it was the subject of two research papers in the computer science education research literature.

Turner took the unusual step of publishing the book via the on-line teaching platform Top Hat because of the reduced cost for the students and because the platform provides an “active reading” experience in which graded questions can be interspersed with the reading and integrated into the classroom experience.  After this semester, the book will be offered on Top Hat Monacle’s Markegplace for adoption by others.  Currently, Top Hat is used at UMaine and around 750 or more other universities.