Jim Hefferon

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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 life[edit]

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 days[edit]

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] that is unfinished as of 2020.

TeX connection[edit]

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 interests[edit]

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 links[edit]