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Contemporary Mathematics is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license, which means that you can distribute, remix, and build upon the content, as long as you provide attribution to OpenStax and its content contributors.

Because our books are openly licensed, you are free to use the entire book or select only the sections that are most relevant to the needs of your course. Feel free to remix the content by assigning your students certain chapters and sections in your syllabus, in the order that you prefer. You can even provide a direct link in your syllabus to the sections in the web view of your book.

Instructors also have the option of creating a customized version of their OpenStax book. Visit the Instructor Resources section of your book page on for more information.

Art attribution

In Contemporary Mathematics, art contains attribution to its title, creator or rights holder, host platform, and license within the caption. Because the art is openly licensed, anyone may reuse the art as long as they provide the same attribution to its original source. For illustrations (e.g., graphs, charts, etc.) that are not credited, use the following attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license.


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About Contemporary Mathematics

Contemporary Mathematics is designed to meet the requirements for a liberal arts mathematics course. The textbook covers a range of topics that are typically found in a liberal arts course as well as some topics to connect mathematics to the world around us. The text provides stand-alone sections with a focus on showing relevance in the features as well as the examples, exercises, and exposition.

Pedagogical Foundation

Learning Objectives

Every section begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives, which have been thoroughly revised to be both measurable and more closely aligned with current teaching practice. These objectives are designed to help the instructor decide what content to include or assign and to guide student expectations of learning. After completing the section and end-of-section exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

Key Features

Check Your Understanding: Concept checks to confirm students understand content at the end of every section immediately before the exercise sets are provided to help bolster confidence before embarking on homework.

People in Mathematics: A mix of historic and contemporary profiles aimed to incorporate extensive diversity in gender and ethnicity. The profiles incorporate how the person’s contribution has benefitted students or is relevant to their lives in some way.

Who Knew?: A high-interest feature designed to showcase something interesting related to the section contents. These features are crafted to offer something students might be surprised to find is so relevant to them.

Work It Out: Offers some activity ideas in line with the sections to support the learning objectives.

Tech Check: Highlights technologies that support content in the section.

Projects: A feature designed to put students in the driver’s seat researching a topic using various online resources. It is intended to be primarily or wholly non-computational. Projects utilize online research and writing to summarize their findings.

Section Summaries

Section summaries distill the information in each section for both students and instructors down to key, concise points addressed in the section.

Key Terms

Key terms are bold and are followed by a definition in context.

Answers and Solutions to Questions in the Book

Answers for Your Turn and Check Your Understanding exercises are provided in the Answer Key at the end of the book. The Section Exercises, Chapter Reviews, and Chapter Tests are intended for homework assignments or assessment; thus, student-facing solutions are provided in the Student Solution Manual for only a subset of the exercises. Solutions for all exercises are provided in the Instructor Solution Manual for instructors to share with students at their discretion, as is standard for such resources.

About the Authors

Senior Contributing Author

Donna Kirk, University of Wisconsin at Superior

Donna Kirk received her B.S. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Oneonta and her master’s degree from City University – Seattle in Educational Technology and Curriculum Design. After teaching math in higher education for more than twenty years, she joined University of Wisconsin’s Education Department in 2021, teaching math education for teacher preparation. She is also the director of a STEM institute focused on connecting underrepresented students with access to engaging and innovative experiences to empower themselves to pursue STEM related careers.

Contributing Authors

Barbara Boschmans, Northern Arizona University

Brian Beaudrie, Northern Arizona University

Matthew Cathey, Wofford College

Valeree Falduto, Palm Beach State College

Maureen Gerlofs, Texas State University

Quin Hearn, Broward College

Ian Walters, D’Youville College


Anna Pat Alpert, Navarro College

Mario Barrientos, Angelo State University

Keisha Brown, Perimeter College at Georgia State University

Hugh Cornell, University of North Florida

David Crombecque, University of Southern California

Shari Davis, Old Dominion University

Angela Everett, Chattanooga State Community College

David French, Tidewater Community College

Michele Gribben, McDaniel College

Celeste Hernandez, Dallas College-Richland

Trevor Jack, Illinois Wesleyan University

Kristin Kang, Grand View University

Karla Karstens, University of Vermont

Sergio Loch, Grand View University

Andrew Misseldine, Southern Utah University

Carla Monticelli, Camden County College

Cindy Moss, Skyline College

Jill Rafael, Sierra College

Gary Rosen, University of Southern California

Faith Willman, Harrisburg Area Community College

Additional Resources

Student and Instructor Resources

We’ve compiled additional resources for both students and instructors, including student solution manuals, instructor solution manuals, and PowerPoint lecture slides. Instructor resources require a verified instructor account, which you can apply for when you log in or create your account on Take advantage of these resources to supplement your OpenStax book.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity builds trust, understanding, equity, and genuine learning. While students may encounter significant challenges in their courses and their lives, doing their own work and maintaining a high degree of authenticity will result in meaningful outcomes that will extend far beyond their college career. Faculty, administrators, resource providers, and students should work together to maintain a fair and positive experience.

We realize that students benefit when academic integrity ground rules are established early in the course. To that end, OpenStax has created an interactive to aid with academic integrity discussions in your course.

A graphic divides ten items into three categories. The items 'Your Original Work' and 'Quoting & Crediting Another's Work' are in the 'Approved' category. The items 'Checking Your Answers Online', 'Group Work', 'Reusing Past Original Work', and 'Sharing Answers' are in the 'Ask Instructor' category. The items 'Getting Others to Do Your Work', 'Posting Questions & Answers', 'Plagiarizing Work', and 'Artificial Intelligence, Chatbot Apps' are in the 'Not Approved' Category.
Figure 1 attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license

Visit our academic integrity slider. Click and drag icons along the continuum to align these practices with your institution and course policies. You may then include the graphic on your syllabus, present it in your first course meeting, or create a handout for students.

At OpenStax we are also developing resources supporting authentic learning experiences and assessment. Please visit this book’s page for updates. For an in-depth review of academic integrity strategies, we highly recommend visiting the International Center of Academic Integrity (ICAI) website.

Community Hubs

OpenStax partners with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) to offer Community Hubs on OER Commons—a platform for instructors to share community-created resources that support OpenStax books, free of charge. Through our Community Hubs, instructors can upload their own materials or download resources to use in their own courses, including additional ancillaries, teaching material, multimedia, and relevant course content. We encourage instructors to join the hubs for the subjects most relevant to your teaching and research as an opportunity both to enrich your courses and to engage with other faculty. To reach the Community Hubs, visit

Technology partners

As allies in making high-quality learning materials accessible, our technology partners offer optional low-cost tools that are integrated with OpenStax books. To access the technology options for your text, visit your book page on

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© Dec 21, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.