(Aug. 1, 2013) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has published its first e-book. The digital book is a collection of academic papers, videos and interactive images from a conference hosted by the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy in November 2012 that brought together some of the world's top astronomers. Torus Workshop 2012 is now available in 51 countries as a free download from the Apple iBooks application as well as in PDF format for any device.
>> To download the e-book, search for "Torus Workshop 2012" on an iPad. Download the PDF of the proceedings on any digital device from the UTSA Libraries website.
UTSA astronomy assistant professor Chris Packham worked hand-in-hand during the course of the project with UTSA Libraries instructional designer Heather Williams.
"As my colleagues and I planned the conference, we decided we didn't want to publish a booklet that would collect dust on the shelves," said Packham. "Our decision to experiment a little turned into what we have today -- a beautiful 266-page interactive digital book that is accessible to nearly anyone, anywhere, at any time. I am hopeful this format can be used for future proceedings and other academic inquiries."
In January 2012, Apple Inc. launched iBook Author, a free application that allows an individual to create and publish his or her own books for iPad. Utilizing iBook Author's multimedia functionality, Williams and her colleagues at UTSA Libraries incorporated video, mathematical expressions and interactive diagrams into the pages of the Torus Workshop 2012 e-book to accompany full-text articles by the conference scholars.
"As soon as iBook Author was released to the public, I downloaded it to test it out," said Williams, who specializes in taking traditional classroom content and transforming it into online tutorials that combine text, graphics, videos, animation and quizzes in her role as an instructional designer at UTSA. "When Professor Packham came to us with his vision, we were excited to jump on the opportunity to explore the process while also ensuring the content is available for generations to come."
"The UTSA Libraries are pleased to partner on a project that highlights the essential role of preserving scholarly records and ensuring access to all," said Posie Aagaard, assistant dean for collections and curriculum support.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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