UF and UPF launch digital book series to tell UF’s best research stories

For immediate release

April 15, 2015

Gainesville, Fla.—Tomatoes, viruses and voting.

The common theme? They’re all subjects of a series of digital books University Press of Florida and the University of Florida are launching today to tell the most compelling stories behind the best research at UF.

Gatorbytes, as the series is called, is a combined effort of the UF Office of the Provost and the University Press of Florida, the official publisher of the State University System. Ranging from 25 to 150 pages, Gatorbytes are available wherever ebooks are sold. Prices will range from $2.99 to $6.99.

UF Provost Joe Glover said the goal is to get these stories in front of a wider audience, but the prime target is the intellectually curious.

“We want to reach people who simply want to know more about the world around them, and we want them to know the University of Florida is doing significant research that we feel certain will interest them,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have some of the best minds working on finding solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.”

Meredith Babb, director of the University Press of Florida, said while a handful of other universities have produced similar digital books, Gatorbytes is unique because of its authors.

“They’re professional journalists—some of the very best in the business—so they know how to take complex material, break it down into manageable chunks and tell a story,” Babb said. “These will be some excellent reads.”

Gatorbytes invite readers into UF’s labs, greenhouses, and collaborative institutes for a closer look at the discoveries that take place every day inside a top-tier research university. The first three titles are:

Building a Better Tomato: The Quest to Perfect the Scandalous Fruit.—By Jeff Klinkenberg. In the search for a superior alternative to bland and mealy grocery-store tomatoes, horticultural scientist Harry Klee and renowned taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk teamed up and are hot on the trail of a specimen that will have you thinking you just picked it in your own back yard.

The Disease Detectives: Unraveling How Viruses Go Viral.—By Kris Hundley. The experts at UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute make it their mission to answer baffling questions such as how a pig-borne disease is transmitted in a Muslim country, what kinds of parasites Florida ticks carry and how a cholera strain from Nepal evolved in Haiti.

The Democracy Machine: How One Engineer Made Voting Possible for All.—By Jon Silman. Driven to allow people with disabilities to vote like everyone else, engineer Juan Gilbert, a specialist in human-centered computing, spent 10 years perfecting Prime III, software that does just that. His creation has already been tested in the real world and is earning rave reviews from elections supervisors around the country.

Other titles are in the works and will be released over the course of the next year. Topics include hurricanes, online education and diabetes.

For more information and, for a limited time, to read the first three titles completely free, visit http://www.aa.ufl.edu/gatorbytes.

# # #

For more information, contact:

University Press of Florida

15 NW 15th Street • Gainesville, FL 32603

V: 352.392.1351 x235 • F: 352.392.0590 • publicitydesk@upf.com

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