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Solved every single problem in textbook over summer, now what?

  1. Jul 12, 2011 #1
    I really hope someone can help me with this. Sorry if it's a little bit long but I really need some advice and guidance. Thanks for any help!!!

    Please take into consideration that I'm asking for advice on how to further proceed so that way I don't break some kind of rule or copyright. Don't accuse me of breaking any law or rule or policy, because I have not, but please do inform me if I would be doing so if I were to take a certain action. I have yet to conclude how I would like to further proceed and haven't taken an action yet, hence the reason why I'm asking for advice and guidance. I'm a law and rule obeying citizen and do not wish to be sent to jail or kicked out of school for breaking some policy.

    Ok. Now that I got out that out of the way, I hope you understand that I'm considering how I would like to further proceed in the best way without breaking any kind of law, rule, or policy. During this summer I obtained our textbook that we would be using in a certain course. I have read the whole entire book and have solved every single problem. I have saved my solutions by electronic means. This document is one hundred percent my own work. I did not copy anything from any were or anything, nor did I copy the wording of the problems or any other work that is not of my own in this document. There were very few problems in my text that I found difficult in which I asked for assistance with, in which I was guided on coming up with my own solution.

    I would like to get some kind of recognition even if it's just people being very impressed of what I have done. I have spent several hundred hours of self research and teaching myself adequate information to solve the problems. I was thinking of maybe electronically publishing this file electronically for a free download.

    Now from what I understand, this wouldn't be breaking any copyright laws, correct? I'm not gaining any money from it or anything. All work in the file is of my own. I understand that this solutions manual would be considered a derivative work sense if it wasn't for the original textbook my solutions manual wouldn't exist, but from what I understand it's not breaking any copyright law because it's considered my own copyright sense everything is one hundred percent my own work. It would be breaking the law if I were to like translate Huckleberry Finn into Korean, sense the work would not be 100% mine sense it's a translation, but this is nothing of the sort. Everything in this file is one hundred percent my work. Students solve problems all the time on separate pieces of paper from textbooks and claim it as one hundred percent their work, sense it's rightfully is, and I don't see how this would be any different. There are also many sites on the internet, like cramster dot com, that offers solutions to textbook problems that people post up, bu this book isn't on their, nor did I copy from any other site or anything, it's 100% my work. So I really don't understand how I would be breaking any copyright because if I were than every single student who solved a problem on a piece of paper would of done so as well and cramster dot com wouldn't exist. At least that's my logic, so I don't see me publishing this to the internet as breaking any copyright.

    Believe me I don't claim my work to be the gospel, or anything of the sort. I do however claim it to be 100% correct. There's one question and one answer, it's why I enjoyed teaching myself the material of the course, so it's extremely easy to tell if your solution is wrong or correct.

    I was thinking of at least staying after the first lecture and be like, "Hi my name is... Over the summer I read the whole entire book and solved every single problem and I was wondering if you could let me know what you think of my work before I publish?" And handover my document on a CD. I'm hoping the professor would just be like uhhhhh... and be shocked and impressed lol. Now I don't want to be accused of cheating and kicked out of my university. I really don't understand however how someone could consider it cheating. I would be publishing my solutions that work as a solutions manual. Weather students decide to cheat and copy my work is up to them. I don't see how anybody could consider me responsible for other people's choices. Like I could go on the internet and buy a solutions manual to some other textbook, copy it, and claim it as my work. Of course this is 100% cheating and plagiarism. The student should be thrown out of the university, not the person who wrote the solutions manual. Would they like call up the author and accuse him of cheating for publishing is work that he should be proud of? I really don't understand why people would consider me publishing my work as helping other students cheat. Weather they cheat or not is up to them. I find the notion hilarious that you would even consider the person who wrote a document that someone else copied off of as a cheater and not the person who copied and claimed someone's work as their own. Like if I decided to copy some scholarly journal in a English assignment, would you accuse the person who wrote the editorial as a cheater? I mean come on! It would be me who should be accused of cheating if I did such a horrible thing.

    So what do you think I should do with this document? I would like to do something with it and get some kind of recognition for all my hard work, even if it's just people being extremely impressed. I would possibly like to publish my work. Don't go accusing me of breaking any law or anything, because like I have said, I have yet to do anything. Maybe my logic is completely flawed? Who knows? Please let me know if it is however! I however believe that doing what I have mentioned would be perfectly fine. I just would like to get some advice and guidance on how to proceed. At the very least I would like to show the professor my document and let him know that I already solved every single problem and read the whole entire book already. I just don't know how to go about doing so, I propose saying what I said earlier would be perfectly fine?

    THANKS for any advice and guidance you can provide!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2011 #2
    I don't know why it did it twice sorry guys.
  4. Jul 12, 2011 #3
    I would purchase a new book and begin working those problems and stop worrying about what others think!
  5. Jul 12, 2011 #4
    I would like to get some kind of recognition for my work and all the time I have spent though you know.
  6. Jul 12, 2011 #5


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    Unfortunately, you've chosen a poor project to complete to get recognition. Very few people are interested in the solutions to known problems. The exception is other students having difficulty with the problems, who will possibly appreciate your work. But presumably any solid student could generate the answers.

    Fortunately, you've chosen a great project to do well in this class and others. Your good grades will be a form of recognition. And your perseverance qualifies you to go solve unsolved problems, which is where the glory lies.
  7. Jul 12, 2011 #6
    I didn't have the patience to read all of it. But does a solutions manual exist for the textbook? If not, maybe you could offer that to the publisher?
  8. Jul 12, 2011 #7
    No there isn't one. And wasn't thinking of making money or anything off of it. Do you think I should like show the professor on the first day. Like what exactly should I say? Also do you think I should publish it to the internet or not? Should I be greedy and keep all the answers to myself so that way I benefit from it lol like i think i should still show the professor but don't like know what exactly to say???
  9. Jul 12, 2011 #8


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    I'm not sure what kind of recognition you're looking for. What would you expect from the professor after you showed him that you've solved the book? A pat on the back? An invitation to give a lecture to the department?

    If you could make your way through the textbook without much trouble, you're best off moving on rather than trying to bask in the glory of doing well in the course. You need to find something that challenges you, to the point where you don't know how to proceed - they you begin learning. The best thing to talk with your professor about is where you can look for such challenges.

    Also, you may want to think twice about publishing solutions to problems that may be presented in a course. Although some people might hesitate to reference a solutions manual created by a student who hasn't even completed the course, others will have no such issues and copy your solutions word-for-word. And when the hammer of academic plagerism comes down, it's not good to be even remotely involved - even if technically you haven't broken any rules.
  10. Jul 12, 2011 #9
    hm thanks
  11. Jul 12, 2011 #10
    I bet I can find at least one mistake in your solutions :p
  12. Jul 12, 2011 #11
    I'd have to agree. If you wanted some form of recognition, I wouldn't see a point in spending so much time to solve every exercise in the book. And given that it's undergrad, I can assume that there is probably an instructor's manual to the book, or, at the very least, a solution to the majority of the problems. If each exercise is quite elementary as you said, then finishing the textbook is more an act of tenacity than an act of skill.

    Great job on such a feat. However, you've definitely accomplished the wrong feat if you wanted some type of approval from others. Why not move on and go into a more advanced course? If you finished the textbook before the course even started, then you should probably have mastered the material. So try passing out of the class.
  13. Jul 13, 2011 #12


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    If you are seeking legal advice, you need to consult with a lawyer.

    I don't see what the point would be. If you've solved all of the problems it's almost a guarantee that others have also. Recognition for what? Nobody forced you to solve all of the problems.

    Consult a lawyer.

    When you ask your lawyer about the implications of doing this, ask about "Fair use" and how it applies/does not apply to your situation.

    The professor probably would not care. I know I wouldn't.

    I've had several textbooks in which the author(s) explicitly state that third-party solutions manuals are not to be published without their consent. That is most definitely a legal issue.

    I don't think we should arrest drug dealers because people want to use their drugs. Oh, wait....

    I think you should gain a little bit of perspective. You have contributed nothing to whatever field this textbook is in, merely replicated the work of thousands of other students. Why should you get any recognition for work that's already been done? We don't credit the HarperCollins editing staff with authorship of Don Quixote just because they put out a new edition.
  14. Jul 13, 2011 #13
    I laud your perseverance and diligence. In the future, though, perhaps something to keep in mind: if you do every other problem in a book, you'll probably attain the same level of proficiency, but you'll be able to go through two books in the same amount of time and learn twice as much material. There is a point at which doing more problems starts yielding diminishing returns, and there is another point at which it stops being altogether worthwhile.

    Whatever you do, don't do that. You are far more likely just to give an unflattering first impression of yourself, especially given the way you worded that dialogue and the implicit expectations you seem to have.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  15. Jul 13, 2011 #14
    You can't copyright integrals, expressions, and functions. That's the first thing I want to say about your post. It was mindnumbing trying to read your post while you're rattling on about copyright every five seconds. Who told you you'd get sued or something?

    The second and more important thing I'd like to say is that you have some serious misconceptions about the world if a) you think it was a good idea to work through every single problem in a textbook, and b) you did it for attention, as you clearly did. If you do problems, do them for self enrichment. While I've been studying my differential equations book over the summer, I've been doing it because I want to have a pretty good grasp of the subject when I take it this fall. I do about 25% of the problems in the section because I'm not looking for a pat on the back or an ego trip for some professor to say "WOW!" Maybe you should too.

    If you want your ego stroked, discover something new. Do research with a professor so that he'll say WOW! when you crack a small but important piece of his work. Be the only kid in your class who got a certain problem right (I remember my ego shooting through the roof when my prof gave a paper back that said just that about a particularly awful infinite series problem).

    I'm not saying this to be rude or anything. I just think you did a really pointless thing for all the wrong reasons, so this is a double whammy for you. If you really want to get something out of this, then DONT distribute it among students. If they come to you for help, then you don't have to solve the problem now, do you? You can look at how you did it earlier. I again stress, DO NOT distribute it to the students. Students have a very poor habit of cheating because they don't care if they learn the material. You learned the material. Good for you. Now it's their turn. And you didn't have all the answers at your finger tips, now did you?
  16. Jul 13, 2011 #15
    I second (or third.. or...) DON'T do that.

    Wait for your assignments (which may or may not be from the text) and tests (which may or may not be text-book style problems) to "impress" and show that you know the material to a level the professor expects. It only appears pompous/arrogant to do otherwise... which won't "friend you" to your professor or the other students in the course. Also be careful not to ask pompous questions (i.e. wording them with the "answer" included... such as: "isn't it true that...." ), and not to butt in and answer other students questions in class (that's the professor's job), and perhaps even save more complex questions you have til after class (again being careful to avoid being pompous in your approach). If your performance later demonstrates mastery (and the professor mentions being impressed) then modestly mention something like: "Well... I had time over the summer, so I got the required text and started early..."

    ...And like others say, it's not original/publishable material (and could get you into legal trouble). If the publisher and author were interested in producing a solutions manual or online material, they would have put together a team of qualified individuals (aka. with degrees in the field) to do so. Publications at a level the professor would be impressed with involve contributions to the field (aka. original research). As others state, you'd be better off spending some of your next summer's time working with a mentor in a research facility.
  17. Jul 13, 2011 #16
    Some universities have a way to allow you to "test out" of certain low-level classes based on prior experience. If you feel you could pass a cumulative exam on the material, and want to be admitted into the next class, consult your academic advisor.
  18. Jul 14, 2011 #17
    I know your getting hammered and all but I admire what you did, it shows perseverance-- but not for the recognition part. Still, like others said, next summer spend it a bit more wisely.

    I'm curious though, what text is this that you solved all the problems for?
  19. Jul 14, 2011 #18
    I read cover to cover and worked every problem in Turner's textbook titled "Atoms, Radiation and Radiation Protection" when I was finishing up graduate school. I did it to help prepare for my exit exams. I had the solutions all very neatly written and was quite proud of them.

    As it turns out that was a huge waste of my time and as others said I could have learned much more by working half the problems and devoting the saved time to another textbook.

    So, never again.
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