Shortcut to Ordinary Differential Equations New Kind of Textbook Paves the Way Beyond Calculus

Tewksbury, MA, March 19, 2009 --( Any calculus student would know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line—unless, of course, you are on a curved surface. Outskirts Press author Scott Imhoff intends to take his readers on the shortest possible path to understanding a complex subject: introductory ordinary differential equations (ODE). His new book, Shortcut to Ordinary Differential Equations, promises to be that shortcut, bridging the gap between calculus and ODE, and helping calculus students master this subject quickly and smoothly.

Many calculus students go on to take a differential equations course, but few excel at it. Shortcut to Ordinary Differential Equations is a compact and approachable book that empowers these students to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts, and develop high facilities as problem solvers. It also serves as a quick review for those who have already taken a course on the subject. And its power lies in its unique and effective format.

In recent years, our understanding of how people learn has improved dramatically. Out of this new knowledge, the concept of active learning has emerged as a powerful educational tool, and Imhoff—a seasoned educator—has applied these principles to his book. It consists of twenty short articles, each focusing on a single subject, which helps the student develop an organizational framework for the material. Within each article, the material is illustrated with salient examples. Several exercises are provided at the end of each section, and all the answers are provided in order to quickly reinforce learning and motivate the student with early success. Thus, in keeping with the principles of active learning, the student is actively working with the material—reading short articles, working through short examples and exercises—and finding immediate reinforcement. This leads to increased confidence and mastery of the subject.

Imhoff has deliberately kept Shortcut short and compact, giving the student the confidence that they can “own the subject” in a reasonable span of time. The student has to gain insight about the underpinnings of the subject and develop an intuition about which tool to use for a given problem. For this reason, the book emphasizes the why as well as the what. And it does so without burdening the student with lots of proofs.

This book is intended for anyone who has had some calculus, at least to the point of being able to differentiate and integrate, and for anyone motivated to work the examples and exercises. Shortcut to Ordinary Differential Equations lives up to its name and becomes the shortest path between two points: from the struggle to move beyond calculus to a solid introductory understanding of ODE.

ISBN: 978-1-4327-1200-6 Format: 6 x 9 paperback SRP: $15.95
Genre: Mathematics

About the Author: Scott A. Imhoff holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and has taught mathematics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is currently a senior principal systems engineer at Raytheon Company in Woburn, MA.

For more information or to contact the author, visit

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press, Inc. offers full-service, custom self-publishing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press represents the future of book publishing, today.


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Kelly Schuknecht