New Textbook by Campbell Covers Number Theory

A new textbook by Dr. Duff Campbell, professor of mathematics and computer science at Hendrix College, was published this summer by the American Mathematical Society.

Campbell designed An Open Door to Number Theory as a textbook for a junior-level course in number theory.

“I started writing it as a set of lecture notes in 1994, and it developed into a book over many years,” he said.

As with his lectures, Campbell aimed for the book to have an informal, engaging style. Its approach emphasizes geometry and big concepts to provide a natural lead-in to the study of algebraic number theory, and Campbell worked to develop a balance between calculations and proofs in the exercises the book offers.

“There are over 450 exercises and nine major projects,” he said. “The intention is that the students learning from this text will do much of the work in developing the main ideas in number theory.”

An Open Door to Number Theory underwent a review and refinement process in classrooms for the past several years. Campbell has used various versions of the book’s material in classes at Hendrix College, and mathematics faculty at St. Olaf College, the University of Hawaii, and Western New England University have done the same. In addition, Hendrix student Olivier Kwizera ’17 undertook a special project his senior year, working with Campbell to write a complete Solutions Manual that is now available to instructors who use the book.

Campbell, who lives in Little Rock with his wife, Beth Levi, and their two children, dedicated the book to his grandfather, LeRoy Archer Campbell. He followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by attending Harvard College as an undergraduate, earning his Ph.D., becoming a college professor, and producing a book. The project carries another family connection, too: Campbell’s sister, Kristin McCullough, contributed the cover photograph, which she took in Ireland.

An Open Door to Number Theory may be purchased on Amazon.