For people who want to learn or teach mathematics on the basis of reason …
In the textbook business, it has become the rule to thank as many people as at all possible so that, presumably, they will then have their students buy your book. Here, though, the situation is obviously different but, since RBA and now RAF truly owe their very existence to many people, those who might use them ought to know to whom they owe it and the latter ought to know that they are responsible for it. So, here they are:
- First of all, there is my wife, F. Schremmer Mattei who, over all these years, has been, inter alia, my mathematical conscience. Whatever is wrong in what I wrote is mine and mine only: because I failed to check with her or, worst, didn't take her advice.
- Then there were those who, over the years, wrote such terrible books that they kept prodding me into writing. Here, though, they are best ignored.
- There were also the students who, at the time I was still using these terrible books, jerked me out of my complacency. And now there are the students, alas too few, who react to what I write.
- Then there are those from whom I learned the mathematics at the root of these texts and those from whose example I learned that one need not conform. I know who they are and am very grateful to them but mentioning their names here would be pretentious and I will leave it as an—easy—exercise for the reader to find. However, I must make an exception for Peter Freyd and John Corcoran,
already mentioned in About the author and in spite of the fact that I was not a good student of either of them, for the very direct influence they had on my way of looking at mathematics and thus on this work.
- There is Alfred Brown, a colleague from Community College of Philadelphia who, once upon a time, had been ordered to observe and report on the three-semester sequence based on Elements of Abstract Mathematics. He didn't shoot it down and we went on collaborating on Model Theoretic Introduction to Mathematics, Geometric Differential Calculus as well as other ventures. I owe him in many ways.
- And then there are the successive Editors of the AMATYC Review who,
over the years and even though I never was in the "official" line, encouraged me by accepting me for what I wrote:
- I must also thank those without whom I would have been absolutely unable to produce anything:
- First there were the authors of the free software which let me get a LaTeX installation on the Mac—after I had wasted a lot of very painful time trying to get something working:
- Then there was Nick Nallick, from Intaglio,
a proprietary drawing software, whose understanding of the problems I was facing went so far, among many other things, as adding the option to save graphics as svg.
- Then there was John Peterson, the Technical Editor of the AMATYC Review
who got me started in LaTeX by letting me rewrite in LaTeX the chapters to be serialized. I am sure he would have spent a lot less time doing it himself.
- And then there are the many people on the MacOSX-TeX@email.esm.psu.edu
mailing list who, on discovering the extent of my ineptitude, ended up, more often than not, writing themselves the code I should have written myself but was
utterly unable to. In particular,
- William Robertson who helped me learn about tables and ended up writing a script for setting them up, even patiently showing me how to
- Michel Bovani who gave me an "intertext like" command, interitem, to insert text between two items in a list. It looks like nothing but what a difference the ability to insert comments in a list made for me.
- Ross Moore
who, among many other things, showed me how to let LaTeX deal with svg graphics.
- Nicola Talbot who modified her probsoln package to adapt it to the multiple choices at the heart of the Review-Exams
- Chris Goedde who wrote the code that lets the control files use probsoln while synchronizing the Reviews in their various form with the Exams.
- Claus Gerhardt who wrote for me several extensions of the polynom package and who keeps writing applescripts to save me from the mindless labor to which I often condemn myself.
- Didier Verna who modified his fink package so it could be used from within probsoln.
- Michael Sharpe who out of the clear blue sky sent me the Grapic User Interface for the ancillaries.
- And the many others who, over time, bailed me out of this or that hole I had dug myself into and who, I hope, will forgive me for not naming them: they are way too many but I still know who they are.
- And finally, of course, there are those who helped me with building this site:.
Without all of you, the world would have been spared this.
- The authors of KompoZer, the free
WYSIWYG web authoring system with which I wrote the original pages in HTML, as well as the authors of Smultron, the free HTML editor with which I rewrote them after I had learned a modicum of HTML
- The authors of Cyberduck, the free
WYSIWYG FTP client for Mac OS X with which I maintain and update this site.
- Greg Chapman who helped me learn how to write css style sheets when the depth of my ignorance brought me near despair.
- And, last but not least, there is Vassil Iordanov, who completely rebuilt this site from HTML to PHP. It should be noted that the menuing system is powered by code that was put in the public domain by Gibson Research Corporation.
Added on February 6, 2012: After Webstrike, the Australian company which had hosted FreeMathTexts.org from the start, was bought a couple of years ago by another company which was itself bought by another company, the technical support having gotten not only terrible but, in fact, occasionally completely ludicrous, I switched to Laughing Squid, often referred to on the web as an "independent company".
Due in part to my total incompetence in such matters, the switch was not entirely painless and, without the extensive help given me by Sheri H. from
SRSplus and Wayne Morris from FastWebsites, Australia, I would have just lost the domain name and then, without Frank E. at the Laughing Squid help desk, I would not have been able to transition FreeMathTexts seamlessly. So, my thanks to all of them.