At School Yourself, we’re revolutionizing the way education is delivered and “bringing books alive” by creating engaging, immersive, and interactive electronic textbooks in math and science for high school and college students all over the world. We’re excited to announce that we recently completed production of our first book, “Trigonometry,” which is about to go on the market and will soon be available on the Apple iBookstore. “Trigonometry” features more than 30 engaging interactives, as well as 4.5 hours of animated video. Our upcoming books will cover other critical STEM subjects including calculus, mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and probability and statistics. We expect to complete our next e-Book, Calculus, in late June 2012.
Our products embrace and build upon the idea that the iPad and other tablet computers represent an unprecedented educational opportunity. Not only do these devices enable students to store multiple electronic textbooks on a single portable tablet, but they also allow for an entirely new, much more captivating, breed of textbooks that invite exploration and promote curiosity. In contrast, the unimaginative electronic textbooks that so far have been made available for tablets are based on outdated conventional models. They are either lacking in quality or are simply electronic versions of their old-fashioned paper counterparts, and are unable to provide the fun and immersive learning experience.
School Yourself is creating the world’s most immersive electronic textbooks for a new generation of students accustomed to interactive gaming and captivating media. We are producing eBooks for the 21st century, replete with dynamic video explanations and curiosity-inspiring touch-based interactives.
Here’s an example of an experience students will have with our first book, “Trigonometry”: While reading about angles, students will come across a sentence that mentions that the angles of every triangle add up to 180°. Students are then referred to a demo in which they can make any triangle they want by independently dragging around the three vertices with their fingers. For every triangle they make, they see in a separate panel that the angles add up to 180°. They are challenged to try to draw a triangle that defies this concept, and they can’t. But if they’re still not convinced, they can check out a video that takes them step-by-step through the proof in about 2 minutes.
Every member of the School Yourself team has an exceptionally strong science and math background, and at the same time we’re all incredibly passionate about education. Our team includes: Zach Wissner-Gross (Harvard Physics), John Lee, and Vivek Venkatachalam (Harvard Physics).
Zach Wissner-Gross (Co-Founder) is a PhD student in Physics and HST at Harvard. He earned his undergraduate degrees at MIT, majoring in Physics and Biology, with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He is the recipient of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship and was awarded Harvard’s White Award for Excellence in Teaching. Long fascinated by the intersection of math, science, and technology, and committed to pioneering the future of education, he won more than 100 STEM awards by the time he completed his undergraduate education.
John Lee (Co-Founder) is a software engineer with a strong background in artificial intelligence and data mining. He studied Physics and Computer Science at MIT and completed his Masters in Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, where his thesis won MIT-wide and international awards. Currently at Google, he has led the data extraction team on experimental projects to mine knowledge from the open Web.
Vivek Venkatachalam (Content Developer) is finishing his PhD in low energy physics at Harvard. He has made the first measurement of particles with a quarter of an electron charge while researching robust approaches to quantum computing. Earlier, he graduated from MIT, where he majored in Physics and Electrical Engineering, with minors in Mathematics and Economics. He has taught electromagnetism and quantum mechanics at both MIT and Harvard, for which he has earned teaching distinctions.