Personal Page of Alexandre Stefanov
at geocities

     Hi, my name is Alexandre Stefanov and this is my homepage.
 The reason for creating a site was my desire to make an extensive list of free math books on the Net.
I knew several other similar lists, but I hope my page to include the most diverse fields of mathematics. Certainly there is a lot of mathematical literature online. However, it is really difficult to find valuable textbooks. There is the great ArXiv.org but the articles there are from the current research and are aimed mainly for researchers. You will find rarely a good material for teaching or self-study. People use the good old printed classical texbooks for this purpose. But can everyone afford them? If you live in a developed country this question may sound weird, but if you are from the eastern Europe, as I am, or from the Third World, the question will be quite relevant.

One may also be just curious about some particular area of mathematics. It will be so nice if he can find a comprehensive explanation, requiring only a common background in mathematics.

After all, mathematical ideas aren't and should never be secret. Why all math education materials to be copyrighted and forbiden for reproduction? Fortunately not all the authors think that their books shouldn't be left online for downloading. And many of these books you may find on my page.

Feel free to copy my list.

Some thoughts about copyright

The subject naturaly involves the question about copyright and the real price of the textbooks. If one look at the prices of math textbooks from 1950's he will be surprised to discover how low were they.
What is the reason for this rising if the average inflation is not as big?

My page has links only to lawful documents but you may be curious how books may be illegaly found on the Net. The first prerequisite is the existence of programs for OCR (optical character recognition) of which the most important is Acrobat Capture with the full gamma of products of Adobe who established a universal cross-platform document format PDF. This makes possible for everyone to scan books and put them on the Net. Among the alternatives of Adobe the most promissing, probably, is DjVuLibre offering both free and commersial packages for transorming scanned images into DjVu documents, viewer and converters to other formats.

The copyright-brakers often use a more dynamic protocol for file transport than HTTP which is the protocol used for reading this page. People make use of the following USENET groups:

  • alt.binaries.e-book
  • alt.binaries.e-book.d
  • alt.binaries.e-book.flood
  • alt.binaries.e-books
  • alt.binaries.e-book.technical
  • alt.warez.educational

    If your browser doesn't support NNTP protocol for reading newsgroups choose a free usenet client; and if your internet service provider doesn't carry the above groups try to find them on an open news server.
    There is also a FAQ site (or a better one) for the above groups.

    Apart from USENET there are few other possibilities for file shareing. Firstly there exist IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels for electronic book shareing. Just run an IRC-client and connect to a network such as Dalnet, Efnet, Undernet or Irc.Nullus.Net (with alias irc.bookwarez.com) then join channels with names like #Bookwarez,#Bookz, or #bw. You will see all the information inside. If you want comprehensive information about all IRC networks and their current channels with search and statistics go to irc.netsplit.de/networks

    Still another possibility is to use specialized File Sharing software which originated with the famous Napster. Read also an article from the WIRED magazine.

    By these means you may find a lot of copyrighted information, although it is unlikely to find many mathematical books in such places. Book pirates are mainly concerned with artistic or technical (computers) literature and don't care much about mathematics or natural sciences.

    For sake of well-informedness you are invited to read Prosecuting Intellectual Property Crimes Manual and an article Against intellectual property.

    Other sources for Mathematical Knowledge

    Documents from my page and similar to them can be found all in one place at least in the following sites:
    Several very useful sites are:
  • Eric W. Weisstein's MathWorld is the greatest online math encylopedia.
  • The Online Library at University of Pennsylvania hosts many math books but pages are received as GIF images making it imposible for printing.
  • The MacTutor History of Mathematics - everything about history and biographies.
  • Knot, Braid, Links is a very nice site with a lot of links
  • CiteSeer has indexed over 10 million pages
  • On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences - best reference if you need such
  • The Net Advance of Physics Review Articles and Tutorials in an Encyclopaedic Format
  • HyperPhysics
  • PhysicsPro

    The relevant newsgroups are (use Google Groups to access text groups (archived also!)):
    sci.math
    sci.math.research sci.math.symbolic sci.math.stat sci.math.num-analysis
    sci.logic
    sci.physics
    sci.physics.research sci.physics.cond-matter sci.physics.particle sci.physics.relativity
    rec.puzzles

    Other languages

    For the moment I collect only books in english. For other languages refer to:
  • The maths linker and Notes de cours en Physique et Mathématiques for French
  • Skripte im WWW, Collection of Lecture Notes and [email protected] University of Berlin for German
  • Lecture Notes for English, French, German
  • Libros digitales for Spanish
  • Russian Textbooks my set of links to sites with russian textbooks.

    More to be written..


    Last edited: May 28th, 2003
     
     
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