History of Distance Calculus

Once upon a time two cool math professors: Jerry Uhl at the University of Illinois, and Bill Davis at The Ohio State University, who together with some other collaborators wrote a new type of electronic math textbook that was based upon student experimentation using computer algebra and graphing software, as opposed to the traditional "read the text and do the homework problems on paper."

Big computer labs were set up at both Universities for the students to "go through Calculus" using these new technologies and curricula. One day a visitor said, "Hey, there is no reason these students have to be in THIS room. They could be anywhere."

This led to the first distance calculus courses at University of Illinois and The Ohio State University.

From this start, a variety of similar calculus-in-distance courses have migrated around the country. Distance Calculus was founded at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts in 1997 by Dr. Lee Wayand (part of the team at The Ohio State University program) and Dr. Robert Curtis, and ran there from 1997-2010.

Dr. Wayand returned to his native Ohio into 2004. In 2010 we moved Shorter University, of Rome, Georgia, but that partnership was short-lived, and was discontinued in 2014.

Sadly, Professors Uhl and Davis have both passed away. But their dream of asynchronous, laboratory-style distance courses and curriculum lives on today, both via Distance Calculus, and via our sister programs at other institutions like NetMath @ UIUC.

Distance Calculus uses a combination of the original e-curriculum, Calculus&Mathematica™, also now ported to the graphically-based computer algebra and graphing system LiveMath™, as well as new and emerging curriculum using a variety of media, including QuickTime movies, Instant Messenger/Chat communication tools, and lots and lots and lots of communications between student, teaching assistants, and professors.

Distance Calculus is led by Dr. Robert Curtis, and operated by a small team of educators through Calculus.NET LLC. We also publish the software products LiveMathâ„¢ and PrintMathâ„¢, and continue to be based near Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.