Jim Hefferon

Jim Hefferon (born October 12, 1958) is a Professor of Mathematics at Saint Michael's College. He is known for his award-winning textbook on linear algebra that is available for free download, with LaTeX source, and for his activity in the TeX community.

Early lifeEdit

Jim Hefferon grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut, where he obtained a PhD in mathematics in recursion theory as a student of Manuel Lerman.

Saint Michael's daysEdit

Jim Hefferon moved to Vermont in 1990 to take a job at Saint Michael's College. He became an active member of the Linux community, including founding the Vermont Area Group of Unix Enthusiasts.


In 2020, for his open-content undergraduate textbook Linear Algebra,[1] Hefferon won the Daniel Solow Author's Award of the Mathematical Association of America,[2] with the award citation noting the book's "clear writing style, tremendous variety of exercises, amenability to use with active learning strategies, and […] careful attention to detail" and its status as one of "the most successful and the most popular" open textbooks. Since 1996,[2][3] Hefferon's Linear Algebra has been available for free download on the World Wide Web under the GNU Free Documentation License or a Creative Commons license.[4] As of 2020, the book is in its fourth edition and is published by Orthogonal Publishing L3C.

Other textbooks of Hefferon's, made available under the same terms, are an inquiry-based Introduction to Proofs[2][5] and a textbook on computer science, Theory of Computation[2][6].

TeX connectionEdit

Hefferon is a member of the board of directors of the TeX Users Group (TUG), serving from 2019 to 2023.[7] He previously had been a member of the board from 2003 to 2017, serving as vice-president of TUG from 2011 until 2016,[7] when he became acting president of TUG when the board of directors suspended the previous president, Kaveh Bazargan.[8][9]

In 1999 Jim became one of the core maintainers of the TeX archive CTAN, running one of three core CTAN archive sites until 2011.[10][11][12]

Other interestsEdit

Jim is a Ham radio enthusiast,[11] holding the Extra Class license KE1AZ,[13][14] and is active with Morse code.


  1. ^ Hefferon, Jim (2020). Linear Algebra (4th ed.). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Orthogonal Publishing. ISBN 978-1-944325-11-4. OCLC 1178900366. OL 30872051M.
  2. ^ a b c d "MAA Awards and Prizes" (PDF). MAA.org. Mathematical Association of America. July 2020. pp. 31–32. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  3. ^ Hefferon, Jim (November 2010). "Giving it away" (PDF). TUGboat. Portland, Oregon: TeX Users Group. 31 (3): 175–176. ISSN 0896-3207. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  4. ^ Hefferon, Jim. "License and source information". Hefferon.net. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  5. ^ Hefferon, Jim (2018). Introduction to Proofs: An Inquiry-based Approach (2nd ed.). Self-published.
  6. ^ Hefferon, Jim (2019). Theory of Computation: Making Connections (0.92nd ed.). Self-published.
  7. ^ a b "Board of Directors". TeX Users Group. 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  8. ^ TUG Board of Directors (November 2015). "From the Board of Directors" (PDF). TUGboat. Portland, Oregon: TeX Users Group. 36 (3): 179. ISSN 0896-3207. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  9. ^ TUG Board of Directors (September 2016). "Report: Suspension of Kaveh Bazargan as TUG President" (PDF). TUGboat. Portland, Oregon: TeX Users Group. 37 (2): 240–248. ISSN 0896-3207. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  10. ^ The CTAN Team. "What is CTAN?". CTAN. Retrieved 2020-11-05. Then, in 1999 it [the core CTAN site in the United States] moved to Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, where it was maintained by Jim Hefferon. In 2011 it left the core CTAN sites.
  11. ^ a b Hefferon, Jim (2007-08-13). "Jim Hefferon". TUG Interview Corner (Interview). Interviewed by Walden, Dave. Portland, Oregon: TeX Users Group. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  12. ^ Hefferon, Jim (August 2011). "Status of the American core CTAN node" (PDF). TUGboat. Portland, Oregon: TeX Users Group. 32 (2): 238. ISSN 0896-3207. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  13. ^ Hefferon, Jim. "Me, Jim Hefferon". Hefferon.net. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  14. ^ "ULS License - Vanity License - KE1AZ - HEFFERON, JAMES S". wireless2.fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission.

External linksEdit